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Interacting With Avatars May Reduce Depressive Symptoms In Young Adults, Case Western Reserve University Study


2/12/2013 7:20:00 AM

Young adults, in a period of transition, are often reluctant to seek treatment for mental health problems because of the stigma, inadequate insurance coverage and difficulty finding a mental health care provider. But a new preliminary study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University suggests that depression symptoms may be significantly reduced when 18- to 25-year-olds interact with computerized avatars—virtual 3D images of a healthcare provider like a nurse practitioner or physician —as a way to rehearse office visits ahead of time and learn self-management skills.

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