Virtual reality as a tool for vocational intervention: a systematic literature review

Masters Thesis

Francis, Jessica Anne. 2021. Virtual reality as a tool for vocational intervention: a systematic literature review. Masters Thesis Master of Science (Research). University of Southern Queensland.

Virtual reality as a tool for vocational intervention: a systematic literature review

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorFrancis, Jessica Anne
1. FirstA/Pr Erich Fein
2. SecondDr Neil Martin
2. SecondDr Zahra Izadikhah
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Science (Research)
Number of Pages132
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

The right to employment exists as a part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and rightly so, given the enormous benefits of meaningful employment to individuals and society. Traditionally vocational rehabilitation, which can be defined as health intervention focused at enabling people into employment, , has involved face to face therapy with varied results and costs. However, with the development of technology the exploration of alternative intervention modalities has become a possibility. The development of immersive technologies, such as Virtual Reality (VR), open up the potential for job and functional training in a controlled, gradable and safe environment. This has led to the rapid uptake of VR by industry for work-related training, but with little alignment to academia and evidence-based practice. This systematic literature review aimed to determine whether VR was an effective intervention tool for vocational rehabilitation. Additional goals were to determine the most effective type of VR tool, and the best dosage of intervention for outcomes. Finally, the systematic review set out to determine whether VR vocational interventions were more effective than face to face, or traditional, vocational interventions. Results revealed that VR in the vocational intervention space is in an emerging state, with positive results indicated for eliciting vocational outcomes, including employment outcomes as well as improved self-efficacy outcomes. In addition, the systematic review demonstrated positive outcomes in regard to cognitive function. However, the limited volume and strength of the results indicates that further research is required to determine whether VR is effective as an intervention tool for vocational rehabilitation. Additionally, the recommended type and dosage of VR intervention was unable to be determined due to the heterogeneity across the studies reviewed. Finally, whether VR vocational intervention is more effective than face to face intervention is yet to be seen, with only one study using these conditions as comparators. Overall, the results for VR as a vocational intervention tool shows promise, but definitive answers are yet to be determined with the current volume and quality of evidence available. There is growing enthusiasm within the technological and workplace training industry that VR is the new way forward for work-related training; however, this is yet to coincide with the research and evidence to back these claims.

Keywordsvirtual reality, occupational therapy, vocational rehabilitation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420104. Occupational therapy
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Psychology and Wellbeing
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