Psychological assessment and treatment using Virtual Reality in forensic psychiatry.


The evidence base for forensic psychiatric care is severely lacking, and there are no available treatment methods with an established, moderate-high, effect in Swedish forensic psychiatry. Lately, new treatment methods using Virtual Reality have been developed for various mental disorders. Using Virtual Reality as a tool in the treatment could provide possibilities for forensic psychiatry to assist patients with skills training in contexts that are relevant to the “regular” life, and not just life as an inpatient in forensic psychiatry.


FOR-VR aims to develop, adapt and evaluate new assessment and treatment methods using Virtual Reality within forensic psychiatry.


First, a systematic review on assessment and treatment methods using Virtual Reality that may be applicable to forensic psychiatry, will be performed. Second, a new method for aggression treatment, the Virtual Reality Aggression Prevention Training (VRAPT, Tuente et al., 2018), will be translated and adapted to Swedish contexts and evaluated as a treatment method in forensic psychiatry. The evaluation will be performed in two steps;

1) a smaller pilot study, and 2) a larger RCT study.


The VRAPT has been translated to Swedish and revised to version 2.0 for the pilot study, and data collection for the pilot study has been initiated in December 2019.


FOR-VR will provide an overview of psychological assessment and treatment methods using Virtual Reality, that may be applicable to forensic psychiatry. FOR-VR will also add to the development of evidence-based practice in forensic psychiatry through the evaluation of a new treatment method for aggression in forensic psychiatric patients.


Work plan
Data collection 2019-2024, peer-review publications 2021-2025.

Principal investigator
Märta Wallinius, Assoc. Prof.

Research group
PhD student: Fernando Gonzalez Moraga, Johan Berlin

Collaborating researchers
Stéphanie Klein Tuente, post doc

Wim Veling, Prof.

Kristina Sygel, post doc

Pia Enebrink, Assoc. Prof.

Sean Perrin, Prof.

Eva Lindström, Assoc. Prof.

Lund university

Centre for Ethics, Law, and Mental Health, Gothenburg university

Groningen university

Karolinska Institute

Regional Forensic Psychiatric Clinic Växjö, Sweden

Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, Dnr. 2018-01409.

Fernando González Moraga

PhD-student and Registered Psychologist

Johan Berlin

PhD-student and Registered Psychologist

Märta Wallinius

Associate Professor in Forensic Psychiatry and Registered Psychologist

Senast uppdaterad: 31 januari 2020