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Single-session Gamified Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for Spider Phobia vs. Traditional Exposure Therapy: A Randomized-controlled Non-inferiority Trial with 12-month Follow-up
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: 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 was to compare gold-standard One Session Therapy (OST) for reduction of spider phobia symptoms and avoidance behavior 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. Method: 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). Results: 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). By the time of the conference there will be 12-month follow-up data including prediction analysis and the effect of treatment credibility, preference and working alliance. Conclusion: 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
single-session, gamified virtual reality, exposure therapy, spider phobia
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145514OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145514DiVA: diva2:1129915
Conference
Anxiety and Depression Association of America Conference: On the Cutting Edge of Wellness: Behavioral Medicine and Its Application to Anxiety and Depressive Disorders, San Francisco, USA, April 6-9, 2017
Note

Symposium Chairs: Prof. Dr. Per Carlbring, PhD, Stockholm University, and Dr. Mark Powers, PhD, The University of Texas at Austin.

Available from: 2017-08-07 Created: 2017-08-07 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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