Can a Virtual Nature Experience Reduce Anxiety and Agitation in People With Dementia?

Lori Reynolds, Susan Rodiek, Monica Lininger, Ms Aubrey McCulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Research has found that viewing nature reduces stress and improves mood, but few studies have focused on the potential of viewing nature to reduce negative emotions associated with dementia. Using a counterbalanced design, 14 memory care residents were alternately exposed to a virtual nature experience (treatment) and a generational movie (control). Before and after each exposure, heart rate was measured, and emotions were assessed with the Observed Emotion Rating Scale and the Agitated Behavior Scale. Results are that heart rate declined significantly compared with the generational movie, and anxiety and pleasure showed greater improvements during the nature intervention, although the difference was not significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-193
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Housing for the Elderly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018


  • Alzheimer's
  • Caregiver stress
  • Dementia care
  • Dementia-related behaviors
  • Viewing nature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Public Administration
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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