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.
"Therefore, VR technology is more widely employed for medical purposes. In particular, it was reported that a wider application of the technology brought treatment effects to post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.21-23 It is also widely used in cognitive rehabilitation in the field of brain diseases.14 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the effect of virtual reality training on unilateral spatial neglect in stroke patients.
Twenty-four stroke patients (14 males and 10 females, mean age=64.7) who had unilateral spatial neglect as a result of right hemisphere stroke were recruited. All patients were randomly assigned to either the virtual reality (VR) group (n=12) or the control group (n=12). The VR group received VR training, which stimulated the left side of their bodies. The control group received conventional neglect therapy such as visual scanning training. Both groups received therapy for 30 minutes a day, five days per week for three weeks. Outcome measurements included star cancellation test, line bisection test, Catherine Bergego scale (CBS), and the Korean version of modified Barthel index (K-MBI). These measurements were taken before and after treatment.
There were no significant differences in the baseline characteristics and initial values between the two groups. The changes in star cancellation test results and CBS in the VR group were significantly higher than those of the control group after treatment. The changes in line bisection test score and the K-MBI in the VR group were not statistically significant.
This study suggests that virtual reality training may be a beneficial therapeutic technique on unilateral spatial neglect in stroke patients.
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine 06/2011; 35(3):309-15. DOI:10.5535/arm.2011.35.3.309
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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. DOI:10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f30086 · 3.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
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