Advances in Social Behavior Research

Advances in Social Behavior Research

ASBR ICEIPI 2022, 03 March 2023

Open Access | Article

Study Evaluating the Availability of Virtual Reality Applications for the Treatment of Eating Disorders

Jie Wang * 1 , Ziyue Yang 2
1 Department of design, Leeds University, Leeds, LS29JT, UK
2 The Bishop Strachan School, Toronto, M4V1X2, Canada

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Advances in Social Behavior Research, ASBR ICEIPI 2022, 688-694
Published 03 March 2023. © 2023 The Author(s). Published by EWA Publishing
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Citation Jie Wang, Ziyue Yang. Study Evaluating the Availability of Virtual Reality Applications for the Treatment of Eating Disorders. ASBR (2023) ASBR ICEIPI 2022: 688-694.


Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses characterized by abnormal eating behaviors and attitudes. The prevalence of eating disorders among high-income young women in Asia has increased dramatically since the late 20th century. Results of treatments such as medication, clinical therapy, psychotherapy, etc. are often unsatisfactory. Virtual reality has been used in eating disorders, both by changing the size of the body image and by creating a virtual environment. The purpose of this study was to design a Virtual reality application for the treatment of eating disorders and to explore its usability and feasibility. A virtual reality-based application was designed to help treat eating disorders. This application can solve the comparison and low self-esteem problems that arise in other treatments by choosing individual therapy or group therapy after selecting a virtual avatar. Participants are then recruited to experience through questionnaires, thus obtaining user feedback. A total of 9 female participants were recruited, including 2 AN and 3 BN, and 4 BED personnel. Seven participants preferred individual therapy and 2 participants preferred group therapy. According to the data analysis, BN and BED patients were more likely to have group therapy and twice-weekly therapy frequency. Patients with AN tend to prefer individual therapy and more frequently weekly therapy. Participants felt that VR therapy was more private and felt more secure. According to participant feedback, apps need to pay more attention to protecting patient privacy and how treatment data is collected. Participants found the application available. Future research should aim to assess similarities and differences in the availability of group therapy as well as individual therapy. To investigate which specific eating disorder behaviors are effective in group therapy as well as individual therapy.


eating behaviors and attitudes., individual therapy, Eating disorders


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Data Availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study will be available from the authors upon reasonable request.

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