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Technol Health Care. 2006;14(1):19-27.

Effectiveness of virtual reality exposure in the treatment of arachnophobia using 3D games.

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Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau, QC, Canada.


Buying or creating a virtual reality (VR) software is very costly. A less expensive alternative could be to modify already existing 3D computer games. The goal of this study is to assess the effectiveness of in virtuo exposure in the treatment of arachnophobia using modified 3D games. Participants were 10 women and 1 man. Virtual worlds were created using the game editor of a 3D computer game (Half-Life), modified to offer graduals hierarchies of fearful stimuli (spiders). Analyses revealed significant improvement between pre and post results on the behavioral avoidance test, the Spider Beliefs Questionnaire, and perceived self-efficacy. These promising results suggest that therapy using virtual reality exposure via a modified computer game is useful in the treatment of arachnophobia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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