VR aggression treatment
VR is a suitable way to let people with aggression problems practice with situations that provoke anger. We know that aggression often arises from not properly assessing social situations, not recognizing mounting tension, and insufficient skills to respond properly.
For example, how do you react when someone jumps the queue in the supermarket? Or if the doorman of the cafe won’t let you in while your coat is still inside? Or if your friend is being annoying?
128 TBS patients in four forensic psychiatric centers in the Netherlands (Mesdag, Kijvelanden, Pompestichting and Rooijse Wissel) participated in the VRAPT trial. Patients and practitioners were enthusiastic about the treatment, they indicated that they learned from it, but we did not find any major effects on aggressive behavior. Based on these experiences, we have created a new version of VRAPT. New investigations are underway in forensic psychiatric clinics in Sweden and Switzerland.
In prisons there are many people with aggression regulation problems. We are investigating a VR aggression treatment (VR TRAC) in the Penitentiary Institution in Vught. The pilot study showed good results. A randomized effect study will start in 2022.
In collaboration with Cosis, we have created a highly simplified version of the VR aggression treatment, called GRoVR, for people with mild intellectual disabilities. Participants in a pilot study learned to better control their aggression. The treatment protocol is available here.
VRAPT was developed by the UMCG and the University of Groningen in collaboration with Tilburg University, Delft University of Technology and CleVR. The further development was done together with the Regional Forensic Psychiatric Clinic in Växjö, Sweden. VR TRAC is a collaboration with PI Vught. GRoVR was developed together with Cosis.
Publications about VR aggression treatment
Gonzalez Moraga FR, Klein Tuente S, Perrin S, Enebrink P, Sygel K, Veling W, Wallinius M. New
Developments in Virtual Reality-Assisted Treatment of Aggression in Forensic Settings: The Case of
VRAPT. Frontiers in Virtual Reality. 2022. [link]
Klein Tuente S, Bogaerts S, Bulten E, Keulen-de Vos M, de Vos M, Bokern H, van IJzendoorn S, Geraets CNW, Veling W. Virtual Reality aggression prevention therapy (VRAPT) versus waiting list control for forensic psychiatric inpatients: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2020. [link]
Klein Tuente S, Bogaerts S, IJzendoorn S van, Veling W. Effect of virtual reality aggression prevention training for forensic psychiatric patients (VRAPT): study protocol of a multi-center RCT. BMC Psychiatry; 2018. [link]
Experiences with Virtual Reality Aggression Prevention Training (VRAPT)
By Anja den Tuinder, VRAPT trainer at the Pompekliniek It was quite exciting for me to undergo the Virtual Reality aggression prevention training (VRAPT) myself. At the same time, I felt and experienced…