A new study evaluates the use of virtual reality (VR) treatment for relief of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Posttraumatic stress disorder is common among military veterans and is often accompanied by anxiety, depression, and psychological and emotional impairment. The combined effect of the disorders can dramatically influence quality of life.
Researchers studied a type of VR treatment called Graded Exposure Therapy (GET), finding that the therapy can improve PTSD symptoms and may also have a positive impact on related disorders.
The article is published in the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
VR-GET helps sufferers of PTSD confront their trauma-related fears. The approach helps people face rather than avoid their fears by exposing them to simulated stress-inducing events in a controlled, virtual reality environment.
Physiologic responses are monitored while the intervention is performed and training is then provided to help the person develop coping skills.
“Our results indicate improvement of PTSD with VR-GET based on three different measures: neuropsychological, self-report, and clinician-administered scales,” said researcher Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Source: Mary Ann Liebert