Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (1), 9-30
ADOLESCENT INTERNET DEPRESSION PREVENTION: PREFERENCES FOR INTERVENTION AND PREDICTORS OF INTENTIONS AND ADHERENCE
Monika Marko, Joshua Fogel, Elton Mykerezi, and Benjamin W. Van Voorhees
Adolescents in primary care with sub-threshold depression (not reaching criteria for disorder) symptoms may be candidates for early intervention to prevent the onset of major depressive disorder. However we know little about their attitudes toward such interventions or what may predict motivation or adherence for preventive interventions. We also describe preferences for different types of interventions and conduct exploratory analyses to identify predictors of motivation to prevent depression and subsequent adherence to an Internet-based intervention. Adolescents with sub-threshold depressed mood favored novel behavioral treatment approaches, such as Internet-based models for depression prevention. Adolescent beliefs about the intervention and perceived social norms predicted intention to participate in depression prevention. The most important significant predictors of adherence were beliefs about the intervention. Careful attention to the specific beliefs and attitudes of users toward intervention should be incorporated into intervention design as well as evolving public health strategies to prevent depressive disorders.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (1), 31-50
THE SENSE OF OLFACTION: ITS CHARACTERISTICS AND ITS POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS IN VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS
Oliver Baus and Stéphane Bouchard
Virtual environments (VE) aim to reproduce life-like experiences, but despite indications that the olfactory sense plays a significant role in everyday life, the integration of olfactory stimuli in VEs is rare. The aim of this paper is to review the literature on olfaction and its potential applications in Virtual Reality (VR). Indications supporting the integration of odorants in VR include the privileged connections between the olfactory system and the brain regions involved in the processing of virtual stimuli used in clinical applications, as well as the interaction between odors, the other senses, and various psychological processes. Presently, smells are mostly integrated in VR applications for post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction, but further uses of odorants in VEs could include pain distraction, various training scenarios, such as emergency response and relaxation, and investigations of multi-sensory integration.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (1), 51-62
CAN WE COMBINE LEARNING WITH AUGMENTED REALITY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
Augmented Reality (AR) technology is being applied in an increasingly large range of applications for improved educational efficiency. In this study, a new approach to the implementation of AR in the educational environment was taken by creating a Chemistry Augmented Reality Learning System (CARLS), using the existing teaching curriculum, together with physical activity. This system combined learning with three types of physical activity–aerobic fitness, muscle strength and flexibility fitness. A large sample of students (n=673) from five high schools was divided into four groups. The first three groups used the CARLS learning system while a control group used a keyboard and a mouse to operate the computer. We explored changes in academic achievement, as well as attitudes towards learning about science, resulting from the implementation of CARLS. This study reveals that the students using all three types of physical activity together with CARLS result in significantly higher academic performance compared to the traditional Keyboard-Mouse CAI (KMCAI). The improvement is most evident for the non-memorized knowledge component of science. Moreover, the students in the AR group with "muscle strength" physical activity had a significantly more positive learning attitude change toward science than those in the KMCAI group. An additional benefit of our approach is that students also obtained better physical fitness while learning.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (1), 63-70
SEX AND RACE DIFFERENCES IN RATING OTHERS’ PAIN, PAIN-RELATED NEGATIVE MOOD, PAIN COPING, AND RECOMMENDING MEDICAL HELP
Ashraf F. Alqudah, Adam T. Hirsh, Lauren A. Stutts, Cindy D. Scipio, and Michael E. Robinson
This study examined the influence of Virtual Humans' (VH) sex and race on participants’ ratings of pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, pain-related negative mood, pain coping, and recommendations for medical help. Seventy-five undergraduates viewed a series of VHs and provided computerized visual analog scale (VAS) ratings for the five domains listed above. Mixed model ANOVA analyses showed that participants of both sexes and races viewed female VHs as experiencing greater pain intensity, greater pain unpleasantness, a greater number of pain-related negative moods, poorer coping skills, and a greater need to seek medical help for their pain. Participants of both races rated Caucasian VHs as experiencing more negative moods and poorer coping skills do deal with their pain. The novel computerized VH technology used herein allowed for the standardization of pain expression across sexes and races of VH stimuli, thus allowing us to remove the influence of biases when creating the study stimuli. This is a notable advantage over other research methodologies in this line of inquiry. Several future research and education applications of this VH technology are discussed.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (1), 71-82
THE EFFECT OF ACTIVITIES IN VIRTUAL WORLDS AS A COMMUNICATION ENVIRONMENT TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER
The purpose of this study is to explore the possibility of using virtual worlds such as Second Life as a tool to develop an understanding of male and female gender roles in the classroom and in social life. Specifically, virtual worlds offer possibilities for users to experience role playing with other people, of different ethnicities and gender roles, which may allow them to better recognize characteristics of male/female gender roles and give them a different perspective of men and women in the real world. Through these activities in Second Life, we found that users had positive attitudes about gender identification and developed an increase in respect towards other people. At the same time, also explored the benefits of using virtual worlds for educational applications.