Virtual-reality-assisted treatment of flight phobia.
ABSTRACT Flight phobia is a common and debilitating specific phobia. Recently, an effective technology, called Virtual Reality (VR), has been developed for the treatment of various anxiety disorders including flight phobia.
This article reports the results of a pilot study consisting of four subjects treated for Flight Phobia using Virtual Reality.
All four subjects flew post-treatment. They experienced a significant reduction in fear of flying on two measures--anxiety about flying and global rating of fear of flying. Limitations: due to the small sample size, the lack of a control group, and the lack of objective measures, caution must be exercised in interpreting the results.
The use of Virtual Reality psychotherapy is relatively new worldwide, as well as in Israel. This study suggests the utility of implementing this technology in Israel.
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ABSTRACT: One of the most effective treatments of anxiety is exposure therapy: a person is exposed to specific feared situations or objects that trigger anxiety. This exposure process may be done through actual exposure, with visualization, by imagination or using virtual reality (VR), that provides users with computer simulated environments with and within which they can interact. VR is made possible by the capability of computers to synthesize a 3D graphical environment from numerical data. Furthermore, because input devices sense the subject's reactions and motions, the computer can modify the synthetic environment accordingly, creating the illusion of interacting with, and thus being immersed within the environment. Starting from 1995, different experimental studies have been conducted in order to investigate the effect of VR exposure in the treatment of subclinical fears and anxiety disorders. This review will discuss their outcome and provide guidelines for the use of VR exposure for the treatment of anxious patients.Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 03/2008; 8(2):215-33. · 2.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Specific phobias are prevalent and often disabling anxiety disorders. The present review examines relevant investigations that have been published during the last 2 years on major aspects of this group of disorders. Recent studies have come mainly from epidemiology, brain imagery and cognitive-behavioral therapy, including virtual reality exposure therapy. Studies published in the last 2 years confirm the high prevalence of specific phobias in the general population and provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying the fear reaction after exposure to a phobic stimulus.Current Opinion in Psychiatry 02/2008; 21(1):43-50. · 3.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although there are several of reviews of technology in psychology, none to date has focused on technological adjuncts for improving traditional face to face therapy. However, examination of response, adherence, and dropout rates suggests there is considerable scope for improving traditional face to face services. The purpose of this paper was to examine technological adjuncts used to enhance psychotherapy practice. This review focused only on those technologies designed to supplement or enhance traditional therapy methods. Adjuncts designed to reduce direct therapist contact or change the medium of communication were not included. Adjuncts reviewed were mobile phones, personal digital assistants, biofeedback and virtual reality. Limitations in the current literature and directions for future research were identified and discussed. This review provides a comprehensive examination of the way in which adjunctive technologies may be incorporated into face to face therapy.Clinical psychology review 04/2011; 31(3):279-92. · 7.18 Impact Factor