More about the Virtual Reality Aggression Prevention Training ‘VRAPT’ study

Even though July and August are holiday months for many people, a lot of hard work has been done in recent months to recruit new participants and this is starting to pay off! For example, on 17 August we reached a new milestone of 85 participants . We are getting closer and closer to the 128. Since June, FPC de Rooyse Wissel also participates in our research. The VR aggression training is now given in FPC van Mesdag, FPC de Kijvelanden, FPC Pompestichting and FPC de Rooyse Wissel.

Background

Many people who stay in a forensic psychiatric center have difficulty controlling their aggression or are victims of aggression. This includes physical, psychological and verbal aggression. At VRAPT we let tbs-patients practice different realistic scenarios in a three-dimensional virtual environment, so that they learn to deal with their aggression and impulses.

VR aggression training (VRAPT)

For VRAPT the patient goes through 16 sessions together with a trainer. The situations become more and more challenging. When the participant puts on the Virtual Reality glasses during the training, he or she sees the computer-made world around him or her. In the virtual world you can walk around using a joystick. In this way, a patient can do exercises in the virtual environment that can help him in the ‘real’ world to better deal with difficult situations.

Purpose of the research

We want to use this research to find out if people after VRAPT:

– have more control over their own aggression
– are better at averting aggression from others

How do we investigate this

To determine whether VRAPT works, two groups are compared with each other: a group that follows the VRAPT training and a control group. The first group follows VRAPT in addition to the regular treatment, and the second group only receives the regular treatment. For both groups a questionnaire (Social Dysfunction and Aggression Scale; SDAS) is used to record the aggression on a weekly basis by the guidance in the forensic centre. A total of 128 people will participate in the study. After this we will see if people who followed VRAPT show less aggression than people in the control group.