How older adults respond to the use of Virtual Reality for enrichment: a systematic review


Kong Saoane Thach, Reeva Lederman, Jenny Waycott


Virtual Reality (VR) has been increasingly used for enrichment in later life. This review aims to investigate what is currently known about this topic. Following the PRISMA guidelines, fifteen articles were included for in-depth review. The review indicates that this topic is being explored by researchers in multiple disciplines. The VR systems in the studies reviewed ranged from fully immersive to less immersive systems. For most study participants, emotions were positively changed after experiencing VR. Participants enjoyed travel-based applications, social interaction, and reminiscing about things in new and interesting ways with the blending of multisensory experiences. VR experiences were improved when a facilitator mediated discussion about experiences and provided guidance. However, usability issues and discomfort in using the equipment are major concerns of VR. This paper contributes key considerations for the design and implementation of VR to provide enrichment for older adults and opportunities for future work in this area.