Intensive Care Unit-Specific Virtual Reality for Psychological Recovery After ICU Treatment for COVID-19; A Brief Case Report

Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 Feb 5:7:629086. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.629086. eCollection 2020.


A substantial number of ICU survivors are expected due to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, who are at risk for psychological impairments, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. We designed a COVID-19 intensive care unit-specific virtual reality (ICU-VR) intervention and tested it on one of our COVID-19 patients. The impact of event scale-revised and the hospital anxiety and depression scale showed that this patient suffered from PTSD, anxiety, and depression on the day of the intervention. One week after receiving ICU-VR, levels of PTSD, anxiety and depression had normalized, and stayed normalized until 6 months after discharge. In conclusion, innovative technologies, such as VR, have the potential to improve psychological rehabilitation, and should therefore be considered by clinicians for the treatment of ICU-related psychological sequelae after COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; anxiety; critical care; depression; post-intensive care syndrome; post-traumatic stress disorder; virtual reality.