Remote Reminiscence Using Immersive Virtual Reality May Be Efficacious for Reducing Anxiety in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment Even in COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Report

Biol Pharm Bull. 2021;44(7):1019-1023. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b21-00052.


To prevent cognitive decline, non-pharmacological therapies such as reminiscence for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are required, however, the use of nursing homes was limited due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, the demand for remote-care is increasing. We hypothesized that immersive virtual reality (iVR) could be used more effectively than conventional reminiscence for anxiety. We first examined the effectiveness and safety of reminiscence using iVR (iVR reminiscence session) in patients with MCI. After COVID-19 imposed restriction on visiting nursing homes, we conducted online iVR reminiscence session (remote iVR reminiscence session) and compared its effectiveness with that of interpersonal iVR reminiscence session (face-to-face iVR reminiscence session). The results of two elderly with MCI suggested that iVR reminiscence could reduce anxiety and the burden of care without serious side effects. The effects of remote iVR reminiscence might be almost as effective as those of face-to-face one.

Keywords: coronavirus disease 2019; dementia; digital; mild cognitive impairment; reminiscence; virtual reality.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Retracted Publication

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / complications
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications
  • Nursing Homes
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Telemedicine / instrumentation
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Virtual Reality*