The use of virtual reality exposure
in the treatment of anxiety disorders

by
Rothbaum BO, Hodges LF
Emory University School of Medicine, USA.
JBehav Modif 1999 Oct; 23(4):507-25


ABSTRACT

One possible alternative to standard in vivo exposure may be virtual reality exposure. Virtual reality integrates real-time computer graphics, body tracking devices, visual displays, and other sensory input devices to immerse a participant in a computer-generated virtual environment. Virtual reality exposure (VRE) is potentially an efficient and cost-effective treatment of anxiety disorders. VRE therapy has been successful in reducing the fear of heights in the first known controlled study of virtual reality in the treatment of a psychological disorder. Outcome was assessed on measures of anxiety, avoidance, attitudes, and distress. Significant group differences were found on all measures such that the VRE group was significantly improved at posttreatment but the control group was unchanged. The efficacy of virtual reality exposure therapy was also supported for the fear of flying in a case study. The potential for virtual reality exposure treatment for these and other disorders is explored.
SSRIs
Gepirone
Buspirone
Alprazolam
Adinazolam
Barbiturates
Benzodiazepines
Future anxiolytics
Future pharmacotherapies
Buspirone plus venlafaxine
Antidepressant medication
Anxiolytics/antidepressants


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