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A virtual reality claustrophobia therapy system - implementation and test

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2 Author(s)
Bruce, M. ; Univ. of Otago, Otago ; Regenbrecht, Holger

Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) is becoming an increasing commonplace technique for the treatment of a wide range of psychological disorders, such as phobias. Effective virtual reality systems are suggested to invoke presence, which in term elicits an emotional response, helping to lead a successful treatment outcome. However, a number of problems are apparent: (1) the expense of traditional virtual reality systems hampers their widespread adoption; (2) the depth of research into several disorders is still limited in depth; and (3) the understanding of presence and its relation to delivery mechanism and treatment outcome is still not entirely understood. We implemented and experimentally investigated an immersive VRET prototype system for the treatment of claustrophobia, a system that combines affordability, robustness and practicality while providing presence and effectiveness in treatment. The prototype system was heuristically evaluated and a controlled treatment scenario experiment using a non-clinical sample was performed. In the following, we describe the background, system concept and implementation, the tests and future directions.

Published in:

Virtual Reality Conference, 2009. VR 2009. IEEE

Date of Conference:

14-18 March 2009