Skip to Content

Dr Eric Malbos - Excellence in Higher Degree Research – Social Science, Business & Humanities

VIRTUAL REALITY BASED EXPOSURE THERAPY ISOLATED EFFECT FOR AGORAPHOBIA: A COMPARATIVE TRIAL
Department of Psychology

Length: 1:50 minutes

Agoraphobia, a common anxiety disorder in Australia, is defined as the fear of being in situations from which escape might be difficult. As standard exposure therapy is not bereft of weaknesses, this study comprised an innovative form of treatment: virtual reality based exposure therapy which was appraised in the framework of a controlled study involving 18 agoraphobic participants. Virtual reality allows them to interact in specific 3D computerised worlds. Results from self report questionnaires, behaviour tests and physiological measures demonstrated the overall therapeutic effectiveness: mood was improved, anxiety and avoidance behaviour lessened, the fear towards agoraphobic situations reduced.