Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 2450-2463

First online:

Virtual Reality Job Interview Training in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Matthew J. SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Emily J. GingerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • , Katherine WrightAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • , Michael A. WrightAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • , Julie Lounds TaylorAffiliated withDepartments of Pediatrics and Special Education, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University
  • , Laura Boteler HummAffiliated withSIMmersion, LLC
  • , Dale E. OlsenAffiliated withSIMmersion, LLC
  • , Morris D. BellAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Yale School of MedicineDepartment of Veteran Affairs, VACHS, Yale School of Medicine
  • , Michael F. FlemingAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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Abstract

The feasibility and efficacy of virtual reality job interview training (VR-JIT) was assessed in a single-blinded randomized controlled trial. Adults with autism spectrum disorder were randomized to VR-JIT (n = 16) or treatment-as-usual (TAU) (n = 10) groups. VR-JIT consisted of simulated job interviews with a virtual character and didactic training. Participants attended 90 % of laboratory-based training sessions, found VR-JIT easy to use and enjoyable, and they felt prepared for future interviews. VR-JIT participants had greater improvement during live standardized job interview role-play performances than TAU participants (p = 0.046). A similar pattern was observed for self-reported self-confidence at a trend level (p = 0.060). VR-JIT simulation performance scores increased over time (R 2 = 0.83). Results indicate preliminary support for the feasibility and efficacy of VR-JIT, which can be administered using computer software or via the internet.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Internet-based intervention Job interview skills Vocational training