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22nd May 2024

Welsh researchers in pioneering Virtual Reality study to support people living with anxiety

The research team at Health and Care Research Wales’ Centre for Trials Research, hosted by Cardiff University, has been awarded nearly £250,000 from Innovate UK to research new approaches to help with people’s mental health.

The VR-Melody study, led by Dr Kim Smallman, Research Associate at Cardiff University, is collaborating with Rescape Innovation and a diverse team of experts to explore how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and music can enhance engagement with therapeutic content.

The grant will allow the teams to co-create a personalised virtual reality (VR) system using AI and music to reduce anxiety and build mental resilience in adults.

Dr Smallman emphasised the importance of innovative solutions in addressing the growing mental health challenges in the UK and the pressures on mental health services.

She said: “This funding enables us to work closely with people with lived experience of anxiety, and through a series of workshops and user-testing we hope to co-produce a new solution to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and help build resilience.

“The research team will investigate new approaches to helping with people’s mental health, how these therapies can be deployed and what innovation is required to deliver at scale.”

The study was showcased at a recent event held by the Centre for Trials Research with its partners, and received positive feedback.

Visit the website for more information about the study.