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The science behind VRelax

We want to make sure that VRelax really works. Scientific research is therefore an important part of VRelax. Wim Veling, psychiatrist and professor at the University Medical Center Groningen, is therefore a partner in VRelax. Together with the team of his Virtual Reality mental health lab, he conducts research into the effect, operation and efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our product.

In addition, many other studies and pilots are underway, all of which show that VRelax is effective time and again. Together with the organizations mentioned below, our team ensures that our product is continuously improved and the mental health of our users is strengthened from validation, co-creation, knowledge sharing, certification, quality and innovation. Download the research into the effect of VRelax below.

News

Applied effectiveness research in pain
dept. Surgery AMC

Started: 2022
Duration: 24 months

Progress 75%

75%

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Applied Efficiency Research
dept. Psychiatry (UCP) UMCG

Started: 2021
Duration: 48 months

Progress 75%

75%

Relevant

Crossover Randomized Controlled Trial
dept. Psychiatry (UCP) UMCG

Started: 2019
Duration: 24 months

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100%

Relevant

Pilot study large corporate market
Silver Cross
VRelax

Started: 2021
Duration: 8 months

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Research

King's College & NHS 2024: Virtual Reality stress relief for young adults

Research in young adults who had worse stress management due to COVID-19. VRelax has been tested and seems very promising and remotely accessible.

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King's College & NHS 2024: Virtual Reality relaxation for clients with complex healthcare needs

Relaxation via VRelax is a promising new intervention for users with various mental health conditions, with benefits such as relaxation and reduction of stress and anxiety. This study examined the implementation of a single VR relaxation session for users in care homes and assisted living, which showed significant increases in relaxation, happiness and connection with nature, and decreases in anxiety and sadness.

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King's College & NHS 2024: Virtual Reality relaxation for Mental Health workers

Virtual reality (VR) relaxation has been implemented in workplaces to promote employee well-being. This study evaluated a single VR relaxation session for complex mental health staff. The results showed a significant increase in relaxation, happiness and connection with nature, and a decrease in stress, anxiety and sadness. This points to the potential for wider application in stressful work environments.

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Fivoor 2025: VR treatment for aggression regulation in MID in forensic care

At Fivoor, TBS patients start VR treatment during their therapy. This treatment, VRAPT-ID, is aimed at patients with a mild intellectual disability (MID) and focuses on aggression prevention. It includes emotion recognition and learning to deal with tension and anger through VR role-playing games. Led by clinical psychologist Patricia van Reekum, this study investigates the effectiveness of VRAPT-ID in reducing aggression and tension and improving self-regulation. Indicators such as skin conductance and heart rate variability are used to measure the results. The goal is to increase motivation for treatment and shorten treatment duration.

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Results end of 2025

University of Southern California 2025: VRelax as a self-management tool

A scientific study investigates how virtual reality relaxation (VRelax) can aid stress management for nurses within clinical units. The tool is designed as a self-management tool to reduce stress. The results of this study will be published at a major international conference in Prague at the end of 2025.

World Nursing Congress 2024

Sint-Jan-Baptist 2024: VRelax as a treatment in forensic psychiatry

Effectiveness with clients in forensic psychiatry: Saskia Roggeman: research with clients in forensic psychiatry to measure whether VRelax helps this target group to regulate emotions. VRelax is compared with other relaxation: book, music, YouTube. In addition to perceived stress measurements via perceived stress score, a structured interview is held and embrace plus watch is used to take biometric measurements. It concerns an N of 1000.
Results end of 2024.

Siza & Academy het Dorp 2024: VRelax as stress reduction for clients with severe multiple disabilities

The VRelax study at Siza focuses on the use of a virtual reality app to reduce stress and pain in clients. The research, led by Joris from the exercise team at Siza's Koonings Jaght, tests the app on various clients. The VRelax app provides natural virtual environments, and the aim is to investigate whether clients can independently regulate negative emotions such as stress with this technology. The research will start on November 6 in collaboration with the Academy Het Dorp. More information about this study is available on the Siza website.

Siza: escape from stress and pain through VRelax

Results June 2024

South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust 2023

Discover how virtual reality (VR) relieves stress and can reduce violence in psychiatric wards! Research shows that VR relaxation is a promising new approach within acute psychiatric services.

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UMCG 2021: Virtual reality relaxation to reduce perceived stress among ICU nurses

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ICU nurses are experiencing high stress levels. The study shows that VRelax, a VR relaxation tool with 360° environments, is effective in reducing perceived stress in ICU nurses, with an average stress reduction of 39,9% after use during shifts.

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Other studies

GGZ Drenthe 2024: VRelax within the LZ elderly with EPA patients

Cognitive functioning decreases in psychiatric illness, especially in older adults with schizophrenia, and there is little research into this. This 8-month study in geriatric psychiatry shows that VRelax offers positive experiences and relaxation for patients, with reduction of tension and stress and interest in further user-friendliness, although long-term effects are still unknown.

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Region Kronoberg 2023

In forensic psychiatric care, where patients are cared for under compulsory laws and suffer from serious mental illnesses, VRelax can serve as a tool by providing an alternative environment. Qualitative interviews with 15 staff members show that VRelax can improve mood, stress, sleep and depression, relieve anxiety and aggressiveness, and contribute to patient-centered care, making it a valuable addition to healthcare provision.

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Philips & Silver Cross 2023

Pilot VRelax for employees as a 'short mental break' 

The pilot resulted in a significant stress reduction, with a 39% drop in stress levels after using the VR glasses. This initiative is part of Philips' focus on health and well-being in the workplace. This is consistent with previous scientific studies.

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Mentrum 2022

Over the past year, COVID-19 caused increasing workload and higher absenteeism, with more burnout complaints among employees. In a pilot study at Mentrum Reigersbos, 30 employees used the new VRelax VR glasses, which led to reduced stress and positive experiences with the user-friendliness, and indicated that VRelax has potential to reduce work-related stress and improve mental health.

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Hanzeheerd/IJsselheem 2022

The study examines the effects of VRelax, virtual reality glasses with scent technology, on stress reduction in elderly people with dementia. Results show that VRelax effectively reduces stress and misunderstood behavior in this target group, as measured by blood pressure, behavioral observations and interviews.

GGZ Central 2021

The aim of the study is to determine whether VRelax is an effective, user-friendly care technology to reduce negative moods, emotions and withdrawal complaints in Johannesbos Detox, and thus minimize the risk of relapse and make detoxification more humane. The results show that VRelax is effective in reducing cravings, tension, sadness and anxiety, making it recommended for use with Johannesbos Detox, although alternative interventions for home use are also important.

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Tactus Addiction Care 2020

In the Intensive Treatment Clinic of Tactus Addiction Care, VRelax has been used since January 2021 to help patients with substance use and psychiatric problems relax. Qualitative research shows that patients experience less tension and pulling when using VRelax, which suggests that it is useful to continue using VRelax and further investigate it in other Tactus clinical settings.

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NNCZ, Drenthe College, UMCG & Technology & Healthcare Academy Drenthe, 2020

This study investigates the use of VRelax, a VR aid, in treating behavioral problems in dementia patients. VRelax offers immersive natural environments, aimed at reducing stress and improving behavior. Using 11 dementia patients, the study measured emotional responses and neuropsychiatric symptoms before and after VR sessions. Results indicate increased pleasure and well-being, with some side effects such as anxiety and dizziness.

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“People with stress and psychological complaints can perform independent interventions at any time with VRelax, reduce their stress complaints and improve mental well-being.”

Prof. dr. Wim Veling, UMCG researcher and psychiatrist and Chief Scientific Officer within VRelax

The facts at a glance

  • 40% less stress within 10 minutes
  • Proven effective against stress, anxiety and burnout
  • Can be used immediately in case of mental overload
  • Proven increase in job satisfaction and productivity
  • Continuously developed with and for the end user
  • Relax in your own safe environment

Partners

VRelax attaches great importance to scientifically validated content and the proven effect of the app. That is why several (international) studies are underway into the effects of both the app and the content.

Together with our partners, we continuously improve VRelax based on all user experiences that emerge from all studies. The users and their needs are central to all our research and the further development of our product.

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