A virtual reality system for the treatment of stress-related disorders: A preliminary analysis of efficacy compared to a standard cognitive behavioral program

Publication year: 2011
Source: International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 13 June 2011

R.M., Baños , V., Guillen , S., Quero , A., García-Palacios , M., Alcaniz , …

This paper presents preliminary efficacy data in a controlled study of the use of a virtual reality (VR) system for treating Stress-Related Disorders (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD; Pathological Grief, or PG; and Adjustment Disorders, or AD). “EMMA’s World” is a VR application in which patients can explore negative experiences to the degree required for their specific therapeutic needs. To accomplish therapeutic goals, a series of virtual elements is customized to be meaningful to the user; the elements contain the fundamental emotional components that the person must confront. Thirty-nine participants diagnosed with PTSD (N=10), PG (N=16) and AD (N=13) were…

 Highlights: ► EMMA is a Virtual Reality (VR) application for the treatment of stress-related disorders (SRD). ► EMMA allows designing clinically significant environments for each participant. ► EMMA and a standard CBT were compared and both conditions were effective for the treatment of SRD. ► VR may provide a positive alternative for clients who do not seek traditional forms of treatment.