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Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 43; doi:10.3390/bs7030043

Virtual Reality as a Promising Strategy in the Assessment and Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder: A Systematic Review

1
Institute of Psychology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Avenida Pasteur, 250, Rio de Janeiro 22290-902, Brazil
2
LABPR, Institute of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22290-140, Brazil
3
Eating Disorders and Obesity Group, Institute of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22290-140, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 9 July 2017
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Abstract

Several lines of evidence suggest that Virtual Reality (VR) has a potential utility in eating disorders. The objective of this study is to review the literature on the use of VR in bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED). Using PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement for reporting systematic reviews, we performed a PubMed, Web of Knowledge and SCOPUS search to identify studies employing VR in the assessment and treatment of BN and BED. The following search terms were used: “virtual reality”, “eating disorders”, “binge eating”, and “bulimia nervosa”. From the 420 articles identified, 19 were selected, nine investigated VR in assessment and 10 were treatment studies (one case-report, two non-controlled and six randomized controlled trials). The studies using VR in BN and BED are at an early stage. However, considering the available evidence, the use of VR in the assessment of those conditions showed some promise in identifying: (1) how those patients experienced their body image; and (2) environments or specific kinds of foods that may trigger binge–purging cycle. Some studies using VR-based environments associated to cognitive behavioral techniques showed their potential utility in improving motivation for change, self-esteem, body image disturbances and in reducing binge eating and purging behavior. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual reality; systematic review; binge–purging eating disorders; bulimia nervosa; binge eating disorder virtual reality; systematic review; binge–purging eating disorders; bulimia nervosa; binge eating disorder
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Carvalho, M.R.; Dias, T.R.S.; Duchesne, M.; Nardi, A.E.; Appolinario, J.C. Virtual Reality as a Promising Strategy in the Assessment and Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder: A Systematic Review. Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 43.

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