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Am J Psychiatry. 1995 Apr;152(4):626-8.

Effectiveness of computer-generated (virtual reality) graded exposure in the treatment of acrophobia.

Author information

1
College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The authors' goal was to examine the efficacy of computer-generated (virtual reality) graded exposure in the treatment of acrophobia (fear of heights).

METHOD:

Twenty college students with acrophobia were randomly assigned to virtual reality graded exposure treatment (N = 12) or to a waiting-list comparison group (N = 8). Seventeen students completed the study. Sessions were conducted individually over 8 weeks. Outcome was assessed by using measures of anxiety, avoidance, attitudes, and distress associated with exposure to heights before and after treatment.

RESULTS:

Significant differences between the students who completed the virtual reality treatment (N = 10) and those on the waiting list (N = 7) were found on all measures. The treatment group was significantly improved after 8 weeks, but the comparison group was unchanged.

CONCLUSIONS:

The authors conclude that treatment with virtual reality graded exposure was successful in reducing fear of heights.

PMID:
7694917
DOI:
10.1176/ajp.152.4.626
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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