Virtual-reality-assisted treatment of flight phobia.

Tsfat College, Tsfat, Israel.
The Israel journal of psychiatry and related sciences (Impact Factor: 0.72). 02/2007; 44(1):29-32.
Source: PubMed

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.

1 Follower
  • [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 · 3.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [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.
    Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 03/2008; 8(2):215-33. DOI:10.1586/14737175.8.2.215 · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Balance problems during virtual reality (VR) have been mentioned in the literature but seldom investigated despite the increased use of VR systems as a training or rehabilitation tool. We examined the influence of VR on body sway under different stance conditions. Seventeen young subjects performed four tasks (standing with feet close together or tandem stance on firm and foam surfaces for 60s) under three visual conditions: eyes open without VR, eyes closed, or while viewing a virtual reality scene which moved with body movements. Angular velocity transducers mounted on the shoulder provided measures of body sway in the roll and pitch plane. VR caused increased pitch and roll angles and angular velocities compared to EO. The effects of VR were, for the most part, indistinguishable from eyes closed conditions. Use of a foam surface increased sway compared to a firm surface under eyes closed and VR conditions. During the movements of quiet stance, VR causes an increase in postural sway in amplitude similar to that caused by closing the eyes. This increased sway was present irrespective of stance surface, but was greatest on foam.
    Neuroscience Letters 02/2009; 451(3):227-31. DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2008.12.057 · 2.06 Impact Factor
Show more