Depression, COVID-19, stroke and infarction, and other conditions associated with loss of mental health are the main areas of VR TierOne application. The operator of VR TierOne requires only brief instruction to use the device without any difficulties. Consecutive, carefully planned sessions, performed on subsequent days of therapy, and an attractive virtual environment help to keep the patient’s interest. The fixed length of the therapeutic cycle gives us a sense of certainty that everything is going according to a plan. Safety, multitude of applications and effectiveness in reducing depression, anxiety and stress all speak for the application of the VR TierOne solution, which is designed in such a way that its therapeutic effectiveness will not depend on the skills of the operator.
When working with VR TierOne, however, one should remember that infusing therapeutic content into the device does not release the staff from empathy and care for the patient. Caring for the patient should be manifested primarily by providing information about the procedure in Virtual Reality, observing the patient during the sessions and reacting, whenever necessary.
Psychotherapy: fighting depression and anxiety
A visit to a psychotherapist is a great experience for every patient. It is related to both the direct contact with a person, who was stranger to us to that very moment, and the highly personal nature of the meeting and the social taboo surrounding resorting to psychological aid. Conspiracy of silence about mental health from home and school can block people in need of mental support from starting psychotherapy. And once it starts, it remains secret, for fear of stigmatization and ostracism, especially when the decline in mental form is not associated with an open traumatic life experience. What is of extreme importance during appointments is to maintain the patient’s safety and comfort, because the patient is usually uncertain of what will happen at the practice. The multitude of psychotherapeutic trends means that it is impossible to generalize exactly how the visit to the psychotherapist works. While conversation is the main focus, other helpful elements can also be applied: drawing, writing, pantomime, breathing and relaxation exercises. VR TierOne therapy is kept within the Ericksonian psychotherapy trend, which is characterized by high effectiveness that is achieved in a short time. Each patient is individual, but the common trait is the strength and resources within people that Ericksonian therapy helps to stimulate and direct. Working with the use of VR TierOne reduces ailments and overcomes relational problems that rendered the cooperation difficult. In practice of a psychotherapist the VR TierOne may constitute a complementary therapy. In a hospital, in a rehabilitation ward, VR TierOne may be the sole psychological aid the patient will receive. The lack of psychologists in hospitals, or their insufficient number, means that the patients during their stay fail to receive the necessary psychological care. VR TierOne therapy is safe and designed in such a way that it does not require service by a qualified employee or providing a special office, which is a huge advantage in the face of unfriendly hospital facilities.
Rehabilitation: motivation in illness, improvement of cognitive functions
Depression is a particularly unfavourable condition in the case of a stroke, as it renders it impossible to implement the necessary rehabilitation and inhibits its course. The availability and effort of a physiotherapist will not guarantee fitness if the patient does not have the will and strength to recover and cooperate. Responding to patients’ emotional problems is important at these are the issues that determine the patient’s physical activity. Depression may also be associated with post-stroke aphasia. Disturbed speech and/or the ability to understand words deprive the patient of the ability to communicate verbally with the outside world. Such a situation intensifies the poor mental conditions, hindering the healing process, and a patient who does not understand the commands and is overwhelmed by apathy cannot follow them. Including VR TierOne in rehabilitation is possible in patients who are able to keep a sitting position. VR therapy is adapted to people in wheelchairs, able to sit on their own and maintain contact with the environment.
The tasks assigned to the patient during therapy activate the upper limb affected by a stroke and increase the rotational movement of the head towards the directly affected area. A therapeutic story, a visually attractive virtual environment, rewarding each completed task and the VR TierOne music layer improve the patient’s well-being and motivate to act. The system is designed in such a way that in the event of difficulties with a task, it will assist the patient in completing it. Therefore the indication for the use of the therapeutic cycle in a virtual environment is the lack of motivation to rehabilitate stroke-affected activities caused by a low mood. In addition, between the consecutive sessions, it is recommended to colour the dedicated VR TierOne picture book in order to improve the patient’s eye-hand coordination and also the ability to communicate with the environment.
No one can recover for a patient and overcome his or her own difficulties. But we can help the patients by constructing their motivation and cultivating that driving force. Patients after a heart attack also struggle with a lack of motivation and fear for their own lives. Fear after a heart attack, which hinders cardiac rehabilitation, is an indication for VR TierOne therapy. The other, less obvious side of the coin in the issue of lacking motivation for cardiac rehabilitation is paradoxically the well-being after a heart attack and hence a negative attitude to taking any action for one’s own health. If the patients felt unwell before the infarction, and there was improvement after receiving medical care they are bound to think that they no longer require any treatments, changes in eating habits and lifestyle. In both cases, one should strive to undertake adequate physical activity. Both the lack of exercise due to the fear of another cardiac episode and the lack of changes in the current lifestyle are not favourable in cardiological prophylaxis. The application of VR TierOne therapy allows us to reduce anxiety, calm down and motivate the patient, which is important in the prevention of another heart attack. VR TierOne is a non-pharmacological therapy that is safe to use and has no side effects. Before starting VR TierOne therapy, it should be explained to the patients that they will not be left alone in the virtual world, but instead will be guided by the voice of a virtual therapist.
People who recovered from COVID-19 complain not only of reduced respiratory efficiency, but also of a decrease in their well-being. Depressive and anxiety conditions as well as a set of symptoms known as brain fog render it impossible for them to function normally, return to work and social life. VR TierOne in the rehabilitation of patients, who recovered from COVID-19 strengthens the mental side of their health. It works well in post-covid fog therapy, supporting impaired perception, concentration and thinking. The therapeutic cycle planned for two weeks will be successfully completed by the patient during the stay in the ward, which usually lasts 14 to 21 days. Relaxation training with the use of VR helps in finding the strength to use other offered activities that require effort from the patient. The elements of VR TierOne set can be easily disinfected. In addition, it is recommended to use disposable protective covers for the VR goggles, ensuring hygiene and safety of their use.
Relaxation: have a good relationship with yourself
Chronic stress can trigger disorders of the nervous system, affecting their neurogenesis, as manifested by a decrease in cognitive functions – deterioration of reasoning, memory and attention. Prolonged stress experiences can induce depression. Living in a rush and lack of relaxation skills lead to neglect in the mental sphere. Taking care of mental well-being as a form of mental health prevention has become not only fashionable but also necessary in relation to employees. Stress related to the excess of professional duties translates into lower efficiency in decision-making and problem solving, and stressed employees can translate to threat do good of the company. VR TierOne can complement the well-being strategy implemented by the employer and fit in with the idea of creating the a relaxation space at work.A journey into oneself gives us peace and a feeling of regaining control over our life. Giving in to relaxation gives us the feeling of stopping time for the current moment. The VR environment became known to a wide audience thanks to games and entertainment in the virtual world, causing the wow effect. It is worth noting that VR TierOne is a medical device and its main purpose is the therapeutic effect and reduction of ailments. A modern form of VR therapy, automatically divided into 20-minute sessions and not requiring professional service, offers an attractive way to deal with corporate stress.
VR TierOne relaxation session effectively helps employees reduce their stress levels.
The VR TierOne solution is an aid for mental health. Elements of psychology served in a technologically advanced form allow the patients to have a different look at psychological aid, breaking away with the prejudice associated with resorting to such aid. The resulting life-giving forces give us a new perspective on taking care of one’s own mental health, which, after leaving the medical facility, may be continued “in the near future, albeit in a different place and at a different time”, quoting the virtual VR TierOne therapist.