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VR-Reward Training for Depression (VR-RT Trial)

Phase 1
Led By Michelle G Craske, Ph.D
Research Sponsored by University of California, Los Angeles
Eligibility Criteria Checklist
Specific guidelines that determine who can or cannot participate in a clinical trial
Must have
At least 18 years old
Be older than 18 years old
Must not have
Self-reported seizures within the last year and/or a diagnosis of epilepsy
Current use of psychotropic medications
Screening 3 weeks
Treatment Varies
Follow Up change from baseline to follow-up (week 12)
Awards & highlights


This trial is testing whether VR-Reward Training can help people with depression and low positive affect by teaching them to savor positive experiences. 80 people will be randomly assigned to either VR-Reward Training or VR-Memory Training, and will complete in-person VR sessions, laboratory assessments, and self-report questionnaires over the course of 3 months.

Who is the study for?
This trial is for adults who feel very little pleasure or interest in activities (anhedonia), may be experiencing depression, and have trouble functioning daily. They must speak English fluently, not be on psychotropic drugs, and agree not to start other psychological treatments during the study. People with bipolar disorder, psychosis, substance use issues in the last six months, or those prone to motion sickness can't join.Check my eligibility
What is being tested?
The study tests if Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT), which uses VR to help people enjoy positive experiences more deeply, is better than a control activity called Virtual Reality-Memory Training (VR-MT) at improving mood and reducing symptoms of depression over seven weeks.See study design
What are the potential side effects?
Potential side effects are not detailed but could include discomfort from using VR such as dizziness or nausea especially for those prone to motion sickness. There's also a risk of emotional distress given the focus on mental health.

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria

You may be eligible if you check “Yes” for the criteria below
I am 18 years old or older.

Exclusion Criteria

You may be eligible for the trial if you check “No” for criteria below:
I have had seizures or been diagnosed with epilepsy in the past year.
I am currently taking medication for my mental health.


Screening ~ 3 weeks
Treatment ~ Varies
Follow Up ~change from baseline to follow-up (week 12)
This trial's timeline: 3 weeks for screening, Varies for treatment, and change from baseline to follow-up (week 12) for reporting.

Treatment Details

Study Objectives

Outcome measures can provide a clearer picture of what you can expect from a treatment.
Primary outcome measures
Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales (DASS-21)
MASQ-AD 14 Item
The Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule-Expanded Form (PANAS X) (General Dimensions Scales)
Secondary outcome measures
Behavioral Activation Scale (BAS)
Effort Reward Trade-off Task
Positive Valence Systems Scale (PVSS-21)
+3 more

Trial Design

2Treatment groups
Experimental Treatment
Active Control
Group I: Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT)Experimental Treatment1 Intervention
7 sessions of positive VR immersion and positive memory specificity training exercises designed to savor rewarding features of immersion followed by memory specificity training exercises to savor rewarding features of autobiographical memory.
Group II: Virtual Reality-Memory Training (VR-MT)Active Control1 Intervention
7 sessions of neutral VR immersion and neutral memory specificity training exercises, designed to train memory of objective non-emotional stimuli followed by memory exercises to neutral autobiographical memories.

Research Highlights

Information in this section is not a recommendation. We encourage patients to speak with their healthcare team when evaluating any treatment decision.
Mechanism Of Action
Side Effect Profile
Prior Approvals
Other Research
Common treatments for depression, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), pharmacotherapy, and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), work through various mechanisms to alleviate symptoms. CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors, while pharmacotherapy adjusts neurotransmitter levels to improve mood. MBCT combines cognitive therapy with mindfulness to reduce rumination and increase present-moment awareness. Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT) enhances the savoring of positive experiences through guided imaginal recounting following immersion in positive VR experiences, aiming to increase positive affect and counteract anhedonia. These treatments are crucial as they offer diverse approaches to manage and reduce depressive symptoms, improving patients' overall quality of life.
Immersive Therapy for Improving Anxiety in Health Professionals of a Regional Hospital during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Quasi-Experimental Pilot Study.Efficacy and acceptability of different interventions for acrophobia: A network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.Psychological therapies for anxiety and depression in children and adolescents with long-term physical conditions.

Find a Location

Who is running the clinical trial?

University of California, Los AngelesLead Sponsor
1,541 Previous Clinical Trials
10,266,963 Total Patients Enrolled
101 Trials studying Depression
48,363 Patients Enrolled for Depression
Michelle G Craske, Ph.DPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of California, Los Angeles

Media Library

Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT) Clinical Trial Eligibility Overview. Trial Name: NCT05342077 — Phase 1
Depression Research Study Groups: Virtual Reality-Memory Training (VR-MT), Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT)
Depression Clinical Trial 2023: Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT) Highlights & Side Effects. Trial Name: NCT05342077 — Phase 1
Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT) 2023 Treatment Timeline for Medical Study. Trial Name: NCT05342077 — Phase 1
Depression Patient Testimony for trial: Trial Name: NCT05342077 — Phase 1
~15 spots leftby Dec 2024