People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties recognizing emotions. Studies showed that virtual reality (VR) and computerized training programs might be used as potential tools for enhancing emotion recognition in such people. However, some inconsistencies were observed between the studies.
In the current systematic review and meta-analysis, the potential of computerized and VR training programs were evaluated for enhancing emotion recognition in people with ASD.
Using PRISMA guidelines and a PICO model, eligible studies were retrieved and the pooled effect size was calculated. Results: This meta-analysis obtained the pooled effect of Cohen's d = 0.69 (95% CI: [0.49, 0.89]) that showed the positive effect of VR and computerized training on emotion recognition in people with ASD. The effectiveness was confirmed for different types of study design, and for both children and adults, while it was larger for non-VR computerized programs compared with VR counterparts.
Due to the small sample size of this study and the substantial heterogeneity between studies, the outcomes should be considered with caution in practice. However, these outcomes can be considered for optimizing suitable computerized applications or as the hypothesis for future studies. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)
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