Effect of immersive virtual reality-based cognitive remediation in patients with mood or psychosis spectrum disorders: study protocol for a randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial

Andreas E Jespersen, Anders Lumbye, Maj Vinberg, Louise Glenthøj, Merete Nordentoft, Eva E Wæhrens, Gitte M Knudsen, Guido Makransky, Kamilla W Miskowiak*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairments are prevalent across mood disorders and psychosis spectrum disorders, but there is a lack of real-life-like cognitive training programmes. Fully immersive virtual reality has the potential to ensure motivating and engaging cognitive training directly relevant to patients' daily lives. We will examine the effect of a 4-week, intensive virtual reality-based cognitive remediation programme involving daily life challenges on cognition and daily life functioning in patients with mood disorders or psychosis spectrum disorders and explore the neuronal underpinnings of potential treatment efficacy.

METHODS: The trial has a randomized, controlled, double-blinded, parallel-group design. We will include 66 symptomatically stable outpatients with mood disorders or psychosis spectrum disorders aged 18-55 years with objective and subjective cognitive impairment. Assessments encompassing a virtual reality test of daily life cognitive skills, neuropsychological testing, measures of daily life functioning, symptom ratings, questionnaires on subjective cognitive complaints, and quality of life are carried out at baseline, after the end of 4 weeks of treatment and at a 3-month follow-up after treatment completion. Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans are performed at baseline and at the end of treatment. The primary outcome is a broad cognitive composite score comprising five subtasks on a novel ecologically valid virtual reality test of daily life cognitive functions. Two complete data sets for 54 patients will provide a power of 80% to detect a clinically relevant between-group difference in the primary outcome. Behavioural data will be analysed using linear mixed models in SPSS, while MRI data will be analysed with the FMRIB Expert Analysis Tool (FEAT). Treatment-related changes in neural activity from baseline to end of treatment will be investigated for the dorsal prefrontal cortex and hippocampus as the regions of interest.

DISCUSSION: The results will provide insight into whether virtual reality-based cognitive remediation has beneficial effects on cognition and functioning in symptomatically stable patients with mood disorders or psychosis spectrum disorders, which can aid future treatment development.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT06038955. Registered on September 15, 2023.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer82
TidsskriftTrials
Vol/bind25
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)82
ISSN1745-6215
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 24 jan. 2024

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