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J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2008 Sep;39(3):250-61. Epub 2007 Jul 25.

Affective outcomes of virtual reality exposure therapy for anxiety and specific phobias: a meta-analysis.

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Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, 13274 Fiji Way, Office 301, Marina del Rey, CA 90292-4019, USA.


Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) is an increasingly common treatment for anxiety and specific phobias. Lacking is a quantitative meta-analysis that enhances understanding of the variability and clinical significance of anxiety reduction outcomes after VRET. Searches of electronic databases yielded 52 studies, and of these, 21 studies (300 subjects) met inclusion criteria. Although meta-analysis revealed large declines in anxiety symptoms following VRET, moderator analyses were limited due to inconsistent reporting in the VRET literature. This highlights the need for future research studies that report uniform and detailed information regarding presence, immersion, anxiety and/or phobia duration, and demographics.

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