All Publications

  • Augmenting group hoarding disorder treatment with virtual reality discarding: A pilot study in older adults. Journal of psychiatric research Raila, H., Avanesyan, T., Valentine, K. E., Koo, B., Huang, C., Tsutsumi, Y., Andreeff, E., Qiu, T., Muñoz Rodríguez, P. A., Varias, A., Filippou-Frye, M., van Roessel, P., Bullock, K., Periyakoil, V. S., Rodríguez, C. I. 2023; 166: 25-31


    Hoarding disorder is common and debilitating, especially in older adults, and novel treatment approaches are needed. Many current treatments emphasize skills related to discarding and decision-making about possessions, which can be practiced in the patient's home. However in many cases, in-home visits are unfeasible, or real-life discarding is too difficult. Virtual reality (VR) offers the ability to create a virtual "home" including 3D scans of the patient's actual possessions that can be moved or discarded. VR discarding is an alternative to in-home visits and an approach that provides a stepping stone to real-life discarding. VR has been successfully utilized to treat many disorders but tested minimally in hoarding disorder. In nine older adults with hoarding disorder, we tested an 8-week VR intervention administered to augment a 16-week Buried in Treasures group treatment. Individualized VR rooms were uniquely modeled after each patient's home. During clinician-administered VR sessions, patients practiced sorting and discarding their virtual possessions. The intervention was feasible to administer. Open-ended participant responses, examined by two independent evaluators, indicated that VR sessions were well-tolerated and that participants found them useful, with nearly all participants noting that VR helped them increase real-life discarding. Self-reported hoarding symptoms decreased from baseline to close, with seven of the nine participants showing reliable improvement in this timeframe and none showing deterioration. Results from this exploratory pilot study suggest that VR is a feasible way to simulate an at-home sorting and discarding experience in a manner that may augment skills acquisition. It remains an open question whether VR discarding practice yields greater improvement than existing treatments. VR for this population merits further clinical investigation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2023.08.002

    View details for PubMedID 37716272

  • Augmenting group hoarding disorder treatment with virtual reality discarding: A pilot study in older adults Augmenting group hoarding disorder treatment with virtual reality discarding: A pilot study in older adults Raila, H. 2023
  • Examining subjective sleep quality in adults with hoarding disorder. Journal of psychiatric research Mahnke, A. R., Linkovski, O., Timpano, K., van Roessel, P., Sanchez, C., Varias, A. D., Mukunda, P., Filippou-Frye, M., Lombardi, A., Raila, H., Anderson, K., Sandhu, T., Wright, B., McCarthy, E. A., Garcia, G. E., Asgari, S., Qiu, T., Bernert, R., Rodriguez, C. I. 2020


    Hoarding disorder (HD), characterized by difficulty parting with possessions and functionally impairing clutter, affects 2-6% of the population. Originally considered part of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), HD became a distinct diagnostic entity in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013. While sleep impacts OCD, little is known about sleep in HD. As HD patients often report poor sleep in clinical settings, understanding global subjective sleep quality and disturbances may lead to novel therapeutic targets. To address this gap, the authors used a sample of convenience: an existing data set designed to screen research study eligibility and explore the psychopathology and phenomenology of OCD and HD. The data set included information collected from individuals with HD (n=38), OCD (n=26), and healthy participants (n=22) about insomnia, sleep quality, and mood using interviews and structured instruments including the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS). In this data set, HD and OCD groups reported significantly greater insomnia symptoms and poorer sleep quality compared with healthy controls while controlling for depression, age, and gender. A sizable minority of HD and OCD individuals met criteria for comorbid sleep disorders. OCD and HD groups differed in delayed sleep phase prevalence. To our knowledge, this is the first study examining subjective sleep quality and insomnia in HD as compared to healthy individuals and those with OCD, while controlling for relevant clinical characteristics. Given that there are evidence-based treatments for insomnia and other sleep disorders, our study raises the possibility that treatment interventions targeting sleep may improve HD outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.10.044

    View details for PubMedID 33309063