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

Barbara Olasov Rothbaum, Larry F. Hodges, Rob Kooper, Dan Opdyke, James S. Williford, Max North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-628
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume152
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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