Prediction of Specific Anxiety Symptoms and Virtual Reality Sickness Using In Situ Autonomic Physiological Signals During Virtual Reality Treatment in Patients With Social Anxiety Disorder: Mixed Methods Study

Joo Young Chun, Hyun Jin Kim, Ji Won Hur, Dooyoung Jung, Heon-Jeong Lee, Seung Pil Pack, Sungkil Lee, Gerard Kim, Chung Yean Cho, Seung Moo Lee, Hyeri Lee, Seungmoon Choi, Taesu Cheong, Chul Hyun Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the fear of social situations where a person anticipates being evaluated negatively. Changes in autonomic response patterns are related to the expression of anxiety symptoms. Virtual reality (VR) sickness can inhibit VR experiences. Objective: This study aimed to predict the severity of specific anxiety symptoms and VR sickness in patients with SAD, using machine learning based on in situ autonomic physiological signals (heart rate and galvanic skin response) during VR treatment sessions. Methods: This study included 32 participants with SAD taking part in 6 VR sessions. During each VR session, the heart rate and galvanic skin response of all participants were measured in real time. We assessed specific anxiety symptoms using the Internalized Shame Scale (ISS) and the Post-Event Rumination Scale (PERS), and VR sickness using the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) during 4 VR sessions (#1, #2, #4, and #6). Logistic regression, random forest, and naïve Bayes classification classified and predicted the severity groups in the ISS, PERS, and SSQ subdomains based on in situ autonomic physiological signal data. Results: The severity of SAD was predicted with 3 machine learning models. According to the F1 score, the highest prediction performance among each domain for severity was determined. The F1 score of the ISS mistake anxiety subdomain was 0.8421 using the logistic regression model, that of the PERS positive subdomain was 0.7619 using the naïve Bayes classifier, and that of total VR sickness was 0.7059 using the random forest model. Conclusions: This study could predict specific anxiety symptoms and VR sickness during VR intervention by autonomic physiological signals alone in real time. Machine learning models can predict the severe and nonsevere psychological states of individuals based on in situ physiological signal data during VR interventions for real-time interactive services. These models can support the diagnosis of specific anxiety symptoms and VR sickness with minimal participant bias.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere38284
JournalJMIR Serious Games
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Keywords

  • autonomic physiological signals
  • machine learning
  • social anxiety
  • virtual reality
  • virtual reality sickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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