Is virtual reality treatment for spider phobia noninferior to traditional one-session treatment?: The results of a randomized-controlled trial
2016 (English)In: EABCT 2016 Abstract Book: Total Awareness, The European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies , 2016, 753-753 p.Conference paper, Poster (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
This is the first large randomized-controlled trial to evaluate whether commercially available VR hardware and software can be used for exposure therapy. The aim of this study is to compare gold-standard One Session Treatment (OST) for reduction of spider phobia symptoms and avoidance behaviour using in vivo spiders and a human therapist, to a newly developed single-session gamified Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) application with modern, consumer-available VR hardware, virtual spiders, and a virtual therapist. Subjects (N = 100) with spider phobia, diagnosed, and meeting inclusion criteria were recruited from the general population and randomized to 2 treatment arms. In 1-week intervals, pre-measurement, 3-hr treatment and post-measurement were completed with an in-vivo behavioral approach test (BAT) serving as the primary outcome measure for both groups. This study was powered to detect a non-inferiority margin of a 2-point between-group difference on the BAT, with a standard deviation of 4 (at 80% power). 98 patients commenced treatment and 97 patients completed post-measurement. Per protocol analysis indicated VR was not non-inferior to OST. Repeated-measures ANOVA identified a significant main effect of time (p < .001) and time x group effect (p < .05). Both OST and VR participants experienced large BAT within-group effect sizes (d = 2.28 and d = 1.45, respectively). OST is the superior treatment option for spider phobia. VRET is an effective alternative if OST cannot be provided, as pure self-help, as the initial intervention in a stepped-care model, or as a possible post-OST booster. Future studies will benefit from evaluating effectiveness of VRET when conducted at home.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies , 2016. 753-753 p.
virtual reality, spider phobia, one-session treatment
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134700OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-134700DiVA: diva2:1037429
46th European Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies congress, August 31 - September 3, Stockholm, Sweden.