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The treatment of fear of flying: a controlled study of imaginal and virtual reality graded exposure therapy

The treatment of fear of flying: a controlled study of imaginal and virtual reality graded exposure therapy,10.1109/TITB.2002.802378,IEEE Transactions

The treatment of fear of flying: a controlled study of imaginal and virtual reality graded exposure therapy   (Citations: 29)
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The goal of this study was to determine if virtual reality graded exposure therapy (VRGET) was equally efficacious, more efficacious, or less efficacious, than imaginal exposure therapy in the treatment of fear of flying. Thirty participants (Age=39.8±9.7) with confirmed DSM-IV diagnosis of specific phobia fear of flying were randomly assigned to one of three groups: VRGET with no physiological feedback (VRGETno), VRGET with physiological feedback (VRGETpm), or systematic desensitization with imaginal exposure therapy (IET). Eight sessions were conducted once a week. During each session, physiology was measured to give an objective measurement of improvement over the course of exposure therapy. In addition, self-report questionnaires, subjective ratings of anxiety (SUDs), and behavioral observations (included here as flying behavior before beginning treatment and at a three-month posttreatment followup) were included. In the analysis of results, the Chi-square test of behavioral observations based on a three-month posttreatment followup revealed a statistically significant difference in flying behavior between the groups [χ2(4)=19.41, p<0.001]. Only one participant (10%) who received IET, eight of the ten participants (80%) who received VRGETno, and ten out of the ten participants (100%) who received VRGETpm reported an ability to fly without medication or alcohol at three-month followup. Although this study included small sample sizes for the three groups, the results showed VRGET was more effective than IET in the treatment of flying. It also suggests that physiological feedback may add to the efficacy of VR treatment.
Journal: IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine - TITB , vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 218-223, 2002
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    • ...

      VR therapy has been compared with another common type of therapy — imaginal exposure — in patients with a fear of flyin...

    Bradly Aliceaet al. Virtual reality in neuroscience research and therapy

    • ...Wiederhold and colleagues showed that graded exposures to flying experiences in virtual reality were effective in helping participants to fly without the aid of medication or alcohol (Wiederhold et al., 2002)...

    Helen Harriset al. The Evolution of Social Behavior over Time in Second Life

    • ...In studies on patients experiencing a fear of flying, VR graded exposure therapy (VRGET) has been shown to not only be effective to combat the fear of flying (Wiederhold et al. 1998a), but it has been shown to be more effective overall than imaginal exposure therapy (Wiederhold et al. 2001a; Wiederhold et al. 2002)...
    • ...In recent years, VRGET has been shown to improve the efficacy of treatment for PTSD in survivors of motor vehicle accidents, war combat, the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, and others (Difede and Hoffman 2002; Rothbaum et al. 1999; Walshe et al. 2003; Wiederhold and Wiederhold 2000, 2004; Wiederhold et al. 2001a, 2001b, 2002)...

    Brenda K. Wiederholdet al. Virtual reality with fMRI: a breakthrough cognitive treatment tool

    • ...(2002) found that eight sessions of VR exposure compared with eight sessions of systematic desensibilization led to significantly more flights in the three months after treatment...

    Andreas Mühlbergeret al. One-session virtual reality exposure treatment for fear of flying: 1Ye...

    • ...Thus far, heart rate, GSR, and other psychophysiological measures have produced useful results within VR studies examining attention and presence (Pugnetti, Mendozzi, Barberi, Rose, & Attree, 1996; Meehan, Insko, Whitton, & Brooks, 2002) and have been used to enhance treatment effects using a VR biofeedback paradigm for fear-of-flying clients in Wiederhold et al. (2002)...

    Albert "Skip" Rizzoet al. A SWOT Analysis of the Field of Virtual Reality Rehabilitation and The...

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