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Using Virtual Reality to Enhance Ketamine Therapy Effectiveness for Treatment Resistant Depression (VRKet)

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Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) can be a life threatening condition, at times leaving victims with little to no hope. Ketamine is delivered with one of three routes, intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), or intranasal. The medication has many potential side effects, including physiologic changes (heart rate and blood pressure), but most notably, dissociation. Dissociation give the patient an “out of body” experience, which is thought to provide the patient with a different perception of their life, trauma, or causes of depression. The goal is to enhance the response to Ketamine therapy for TRD with the use of pre-treatment Virtual Reality (VR) meditation. This intervention has provided patients the opportunity to modify their environment and mental state to prepare for the treatment.

After 104 sessions completed by 14 patients, we have found an average of 12% improvement in the adopted mood scale (10 point Likert Scale ranging from 0, no depression, to 10, the worst depression ever experienced), and a 4% improvement in the PHQ9 scale. VR- based meditation immerses the patient in a virtual environment which decreases negative stimulation and distractions. The meditation provides instruction on breathing techniques that decrease stress and anxiety, and provides positive, affirming dialogue.

This innovation is replicating across multiple facilities as its impact continues to be validated. See more replicating innovations.


2 in-progress


Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, XR Network



  • Over 104 VR sessions completed
  • 12% overall improvement in mood
  • 4% overall decrease in PHQ9 scores
  • 19% improvement in pain ratings

Diffusion tracker

Does not include Clinical Resource Hubs (CRH)


There are no successful adoptions for this innovation.

There are no unsuccessful adoptions for this innovation.