P Nugues

Groupe de Recherche en Informatique, Image, Automatique et Instrumentation de Caen, Caen, Lower Normandy, France

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Publications (9)14.19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Social phobia is one of the most frequent mental disorders and is accessible to two forms of scientifically validated treatments: anti-depressant drugs and cognitive behavior therapies (CBT). In this last case, graded exposure to feared social situations is one of the fundamental therapeutic ingredients. Virtual reality technologies are an interesting alternative to the standard exposure in social phobia, especially since studies have shown its usefulness for the fear of public speaking. This paper reports a preliminary study in which a virtual reality therapy (VRT), based on exposure to virtual environments, was used to treat social phobia. The sample consisted of 36 participants diagnosed with social phobia assigned to either VRT or a group-CBT (control condition). The virtual environments used in the treatment recreate four situations dealing with social anxiety: performance, intimacy, scrutiny, and assertiveness. With the help of the therapist, the patient learns adapted cognitions and behaviors in order to reduce anxiety in the corresponding real situations. Both treatments lasted 12 weeks, and sessions were delivered according to a treatment manual. Results showed statistically and clinically significant improvement in both conditions. The effect-sizes comparing the efficacy of VRT to the control traditional group-CBT revealed that the differences between the two treatments are trivial.
    CyberPsychology & Behavior 03/2005; 8(1):76-88. · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • Cyberpsychology & behavior. 01/2005; 8(1):76-88.
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    ABSTRACT: Social phobia is one of the most frequent psychiatric disorders and is accessible to two forms of scientifically validated treatments: anti-depressant drugs and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Graded exposure to feared social situations (either in vivo or by imagining the situations) is fundamental to obtain an improvement of the anxious symptoms. Virtual reality (VR) may be an alternative to these standard exposure techniques and seems to bring significant advantages by allowing exposures to numerous and varied situations. Moreover studies have shown that human subjects are appropriately sensitive to virtual environments. This chapter reports the definition of a VR-based clinical protocol and a study to treat social phobia using virtual reality techniques. The virtual environments used in the treatment reproduce four situations that social phobics feel the most threatening: performance, intimacy, scrutiny and assertiveness. With the help of the therapist, the patient learns adapted cognitions and behaviors when coping with social situations, with the aim of reducing her or his anxiety in the corresponding real life situations. Some studies have been carried out using virtual reality in the treatment of fear of public speaking, which is only a small part of the symptomatology of most of social phobic patients. The novelty of our work is to address a larger group of situations that the phobic patients experience with high anxiety. In our protocol, the efficacy of the virtual reality treatment is compared to well established and well validated group cognitive-behavioral treatment.
    Studies in health technology and informatics 02/2004; 99:91-119.
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    ABSTRACT: Social phobia is an anxiety disorder that is accessible to two forms of treatment yielding scientifically validated results: drugs and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Graded exposure to feared social situations is fundamental to obtain an improvement of the anxious symptoms. Traditionally, exposure therapies are done either in vivo or by imagining the situations. In vivo exposure is sometimes difficult to control and many patients have some difficulties in using imagination. Virtual reality (VR) seems to bring significant advantages. It allows exposures to numerous and varied situations. This paper reports the definition of a clinical protocol whose purpose is to assess the efficiency of a VR therapy compared to a CBT and to the absence of treatment for social phobic patients. It explains the illness' diagnosis and its usual treatments. It exposes all the architecture of the study, the assessment tools, the content and unfold of the therapy sessions. It finally reports first results of a clinical trial in a between-group design in 10 patients suffering from social phobia. The virtual environments used in the treatment reproduce four situations that social phobics feel the most threatening: performance, intimacy, scrutiny and assertiveness. With the help of the therapist, the patient learns adapted cognitions and behaviors with the aim of reducing her or his anxiety in the corresponding real situations. The novelty of our work is to address a group of situations that the phobic patient is most likely to experience and to treat patients according to a precise protocol.
    CyberPsychology & Behavior 09/2003; 6(4):411-20. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many of us grew up with the naive assumption that couches are the best used therapeutic tools in psychotherapy. But tools for psychotherapy are evolving in a much more complex environment than a designer's chaise lounge. In particular, virtual reality (VR) devices have the potential for appearing soon in many consulting rooms. The use of VR in medicine is not a novelty. Applications of virtual environments for health care have been developed in the following areas: surgical procedures (remote surgery or telepresence, augmented or enhanced surgery, and planning and simulation of procedures before surgery); preventive medicine and patient education; medical education and training; visualization of massive medical databases; and architectural design for health care facilities. However, there is a growing recognition that VR can play an important role in clinical psychology, too. To exploit and understand this potential is the main goal of the Telemedicine and Portable Virtual Environment in Clinical Psychology--VEPSY Updated--a European Community-funded research project (IST-2000-25323, http://www.vepsy.com). The project will provide innovative tools-telemedicine and portable-for the treatment of patients, clinical trials to verify their viability, and action plans for dissemination of its results to an extended audience-potential users and influential groups. The project will also develop different personal computer (PC)-based virtual reality modules to be used in clinical assessment and treatment. In particular, the developed modules will address the following pathologies: anxiety disorders; male impotence and premature ejaculation; and obesity, bulimia, and binge-eating disorders.
    CyberPsychology & Behavior 09/2001; 4(4):449-55. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging technology that alters the way individuals interact with computers: a 3D computer-generated environment in which a person can move about and interact as if he actually was inside it. Given to the high computational power required to create virtual environments, these are usually developed on expensive high-end workstations. However, the significant advances in PC hardware that have been made over the last three years, are making PC-based VR a possible solution for clinical assessment and therapy. VREPAR - Virtual Reality Environments for Psychoneurophysiological Assessment and Rehabilitation - are two European Community funded projects (Telematics for health - HC 1053/HC 1055 - http://www.psicologia.net) that are trying to develop a modular PC-based virtual reality system for the medical market. The paper describes the rationale of the developed modules and the preliminary results obtained.
    Technology and health care: official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine 02/1999; 7(4):261-9. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Due, in large part, to the significant advances in PC hardware that have been made over the last 3 years, PC-based virtual environments are approaching reality. Virtual Reality Environments for Psychoneurophysiological Assessment and Rehabilitation (VREPAR) are two European Community funded projects (Telematics for health-HC 1053/HC 1055, http:// www.psicologia.net) that are trying to develop a PC-based virtual reality system (PC-VRS) for the medical market that can be marketed at a price that is accessible to its possible endusers (hospitals, universities, and research centres) and that would have the modular, connectability, and interoperability characteristics that the existing systems lack. In particular, the projects are developing three hardware/software modules for the application of the PCVRS in psycho-neuro-physiological assessment and rehabilitation. The chosen development areas are eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia, and obesity), movement disorders (Parkinson's disease and torsion dystonia) and stroke disorders (unilateral neglect and hemiparesis). This article describes the rationale of the modules and the preliminary results obtained.
    CyberPsychology & Behavior 02/1999; 2(1):69-76. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Virtual Reality Environments for Psychoneurophysiological Assessment and Rehabilitation (VREPAR) are two European Community funded projects (Telematics for health-HC 1053/HC 1055-http://www.psicologia.net) whose aim is (a) to develop a PC based virtual reality system (PC-VRS) for the medical market that can be marketed at a price that is accessible to its possible endusers (hospitals, universities, and research centres) and that would have the modular, connectability and interoperability characteristics that the existing systems lack; and (b) to develop three hardware/software modules for the application of the PC-VRS in psychoneurophysiological assessment and rehabilitation. The chosen development areas are eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia, and obesity), movement disorders (Parkinson's disease and torsion dystonia), and stroke disorders (unilateral neglect and hemiparesis). In particular, the VREPAR 2 project is now testing the eating disorders module on a clinical sample.
    CyberPsychology & Behavior 02/1999; 2(1):77-9. · 2.71 Impact Factor