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Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2015 Jul-Aug;43(4):133-41. Epub 2015 Jul 1.

The combined use of virtual reality exposure in the treatment of agoraphobia.

Author information

1
Public Health General Management. Canary Islands Health Service. Government of the Canary Islands, Spain.
2
Department of Clinic Psychology, Biological Psychology and Methodology. Health Science Department (Pychology)and Methodology. Health Science Department (Pychology). University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
3
Public Health General Management. Canary Islands Health Service. Government of the Canary Islands, Spain University Hospital of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. Canary Islands Health Service. Government of the Canary Islands. Spain.
4
Department of Clinic Psychology, Biological Psychology and Methodology. Health Science Department (Pychology). University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
5
University of Granada. Granada, Spain.
6
Department of Systems Engineering and Automatic and Computers Technologies. High School of Egineering and Technology. University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
7
University School of Nursing and Physiotherapy. University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
8
University Hospital of the Canary Islands. Canary Islands Health Service. Government of the Canary Islands. Spain Department of Internal Medicine, Dermatology and Psychiatry. University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

This study compares the differential efficacy of three groups of treatments for agoraphobia: paroxetine combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy, paroxetine combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy and virtual reality exposure, and a group with only paroxetine.

METHODOLOGY:

99 patients with agoraphobia were finally selected. Both combined treatment groups received 11 sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy, and one of the groups was also exposed to 4 sessions of virtual reality treatment. Treatments were applied in individual sessions once a week for 3 months.

RESULTS:

The three treatment groups showed statistically significant improvements. In some measures, combined treatment groups showed greater improvements. The virtual reality exposure group showed greater improvement confronting phobic stimuli.

CONCLUSIONS:

Treatments combining psychopharmacological and psychological therapy showed greater efficacy. Although the use of new technologies led to greater improvement, treatment adherence problems still remain.

PMID:
26150057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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