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Cyberpsychol Behav. 2007 Jun;10(3):362-70.

Do self-statements enhance the effectiveness of virtual reality exposure therapy? A comparative evaluation in acrophobia.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 15, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


There is a clear need for more detailed analysis of the role of cognitive self-statements in virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET). To date, no research on this topic has been done. The primary aim of this study was to investigate whether coping self-statements would enhance the effectiveness of VRET. In a randomized crossover design, 26 patients with acrophobia (DSM-IV diagnosis of specific phobia) were randomly assigned to two sessions of VRET followed by two sessions of VRET plus coping self-statements, or the other way around: first two sessions of VRET plus coping self-statements followed by two sessions of VRET. Results showed that VRET, regardless of addition of coping self-statements, decreased anxiety of heights, decreased avoidance of height situations, and improved attitudes towards heights. However, at 6-month follow-up, most gains during treatment were not fully retained.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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