JUCS - Journal of Universal Computer Science 27(12): 1371-1389, doi: 10.3897/jucs.77237
Combined Use of Virtual Reality and a Chatbot Reduces Emotional Stress More Than Using Them Separately
expand article infoAtsuko Matsumoto, Takeshi Kamita§, Yukari Tawaratsumida|, Ayako Nakamura|, Harumi Fukuchimoto|, Yuko Mitamura|, Hiroko Suzuki|, Tsunetsugu Munakata, Tomoo Inoue§
‡ MILOQS Inc., Tokyo, Japan§ University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan| Showa University, Yokohama, Japan¶ SDS Corporation, Ichikawa, Japan
Open Access

In recent years, various organizations, such as companies and governments, have been required to take measures for the mental health of their employees, and the importance of self-care for mental health by employees themselves has been increasing, as well as being supported by administrators, such as doctors and workplace managers. As a means of self-care of mental health that can be implemented by busy professionals during their workdays and daily lives, the Digital-SAT method has been developed to implement the stress-care process of the SAT method, a psychological counseling technique for resolving psychological stress problems, in a self-guided manner using digital media. To realize the Digital-SAT method, two issues need to be addressed: first, to obtain the same emotional stress reduction effect as the SAT method and, second, to ensure the continuous implementation of the Digital-SAT method. Previous studies have shown that applications (apps) using virtual reality are effective in solving the former issue, and an app using a chatbot can be effective in solving the latter. In this research, an intervention study was conducted to verify the effectiveness of combined use of the two apps to encourage continuous use, resulting in increased emotional stress reduction, with the aim of making it feasible in actual work environments. An intervention of four weeks of app use was conducted with 70 nurses working in two hospitals where measures for mental health due to emotional labour and overwork were required. The emotional stress reduction effects of the intervention were evaluated using psychological scales and blood pressure levels, and it was confirmed that combined use of apps was more effective than using them separately to practice the Digital-SAT method in an actual work environment.

mental healthcare, SAT method, VR, chatbot