Feasibility of a Virtual Reality Program in Managing Test Anxiety: A Pilot Study

Joon Hee Kwon, Narae Hong, Kwanguk Kim, Jiwoong Heo, Jae Jin Kim, Eunjoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Test anxiety has been a growing problem in school-aged children, especially for students in East-Asian countries where the pressure for academic achievement is high. These students are more vulnerable to academic stress, which could further lead to anxiety disorders. For this reason, this study examined the feasibility of virtual reality (VR) test anxiety program in managing anxiety in students. A total of 22 typically developing children with varying levels of test anxiety and no history of psychiatric illnesses participated in the study (mean age = 11.6 and standard deviation [SD] = 1.84). A self-reported questionnaire measuring test anxiety, state-trait anxiety, and depression was administered. Heart rate (HR) variability and subjective anxiety were also measured to examine the changes during each of the anxiety-inducing (Exam 1 and Exam 2) and meditation (Med 1 and Med 2) sessions in the program. There was a significant difference in self-perceived anxiety during the program (p < 0.001), as well as a significant main effect of time on the standard deviation of R-R interval (p = 0.002). In addition, a significant relationship between changes in HR and perceived anxiety during Exam 1 (p = 0.003), Med 1 (p < 0.001), and Med 2 (p = 0.011) was found. In conclusion, this work demonstrates the feasibility of the virtual environment to induce different levels of anxiety and explores the potential use of VR program as a viable method to manage the negative emotion in students. This work shows the potential of technology-enhanced tools in addressing psychological problems in school-aged children. Further study is needed to validate the use of the program in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-720
Number of pages6
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume23
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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