Project “Virtual reality intervention for the mental well-being for teenagers with asthma” supported by Invest NI

Project Definition – RD0318890 – Virtual Reality Intervention for the mental well-being for Teenagers with Asthma (VRITA) received the financial assistance from Invest NI under Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014, Article 25 on 8 June 2018.

VRITA project completed recruitment of participants on 22 of January 2019. This was a clinically led technological mental health intervention for 13-17-year-old teenagers with asthma and at risk of or experiencing anxiety/depression. Teenagers with asthma were recruited using the Northern Ireland GPs network. Parents and teenagers after consenting attended asthma clinics for this project where teenagers’ asthma status and mood swings were assessed using the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS), short 6-item test, at the beginning and after 1 month period. The test was completed for a maximum of twice in total.

The results will be presented and discussed during the meetings with the asthma nurse and teenagers at the GP practices. Asthma and mental health trends were monitored and discussed. Teenagers were asked about the most acceptable computerised consultant-peers or feedback mechanisms. We identified the best virtual reality (VR) method of intervention to improve mental health and subsequently overall health. Monthly checkup and teenager responses were built into the VR Intervention. VR intervention was tested and updated after every session. Feedback from the GPs, nurses and teenagers was collected and results will be published shortly.