Immersive Virtual Reality Enabled Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Chen Li*, Meike Belter, Jing Liu*, Heide Lukosch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction, which can have significant impacts on daily life, education, and work. Limited performance in learning and working, as well as exclusion from social activities, are common challenges faced by individuals with ASD. Virtual reality (VR) technology has emerged as a promising medium for delivering interventions for ASD. To address five major research questions and understand the latest trends and challenges in this area, a systematic review of 21 journal articles published between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2022 was conducted using the PRISMA approach. A meta-analysis of 15 articles was further conducted to assess interventional effectiveness. The results showed that most studies focused on social and affective skill training and relied on existing theories and practices with limited adaptations for VR. Furthermore, the enabling technologies’ affordances for the interventional needs of individuals with ASD were not thoroughly investigated. We suggest that future studies should propose and design interventions with solid theoretical foundations, explore more interventional areas besides social and affective skill training, and employ more rigorous experimental designs to investigate the effectiveness of VR-enabled ASD interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2497
Number of pages19
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

User-Defined Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • immersion
  • immersive learning
  • intervention effectiveness
  • meta-analysis
  • systematic review
  • virtual reality


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