Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Innovative virtual reality exposure therapy shows promise for returning troops

Date:
February 17, 2011
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
A new study is one of the first to provide evidence of the effectiveness of exposure therapy with active duty military service members suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study shows that virtual reality exposure therapy resulted in significant reductions in PTSD symptoms after an average of seven treatment sessions. Additionally, 62 % of patients reported clinically meaningful, reliable change in PTSD symptoms.

An article published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress is one of the first to provide evidence of the effectiveness of exposure therapy with active duty military service members suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study shows that virtual reality exposure therapy resulted in significant reductions in PTSD symptoms after an average of seven treatment sessions. Additionally, 62 % of patients reported clinically meaningful, reliable change in PTSD symptoms.

During the treatment the soldier repeatedly revisits the memory, and through the use of their imagination they safely access emotions related to the original traumatic experience. Revisiting the memory while safely emotionally engaged, reduces anxiety, and allows the engagement process to be comfortably repeated. Lead author Dr. Greg Reger, "We know that lengthy military deployments in stressful environments with exposure to multiple, potentially traumatic events can lead to the desire to emotionally 'unplug.' By using multi-sensory virtual reality that can be customized in real time, the provider can help activate the memory with relevant sights, sounds, vibrations, even scents that resemble aspects of the event that is haunting them."

A clinical trial with Vietnam veterans and World Trade Center survivors has shown that virtual exposure therapy is an innovative and effective form of treatment. The current research extends those findings to the population of military service members returning from deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan with PTSD.

Reger, "It is possible that virtual reality exposure therapy would provide a more appealing treatment option to a young, technologically savvy generation of service members and veterans. In addition, it is possible that a treatment option like virtual reality exposure would be viewed by some service members as less stigmatizing than traditional treatment approaches. If accurate, virtual reality exposure therapy might provide us with the opportunity to treat service members and veterans who may not otherwise seek help."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Greg M. Reger, Kevin M. Holloway, Colette Candy, Barbara O. Rothbaum, JoAnn Difede, Albert A. Rizzo, Gregory A. Gahm. Effectiveness of virtual reality exposure therapy for active duty soldiers in a military mental health clinic. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2011; 1 DOI: 10.1002/jts.20574

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Innovative virtual reality exposure therapy shows promise for returning troops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110216110316.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2011, February 17). Innovative virtual reality exposure therapy shows promise for returning troops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110216110316.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Innovative virtual reality exposure therapy shows promise for returning troops." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110216110316.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

AFP (Apr. 19, 2014) The Nintendo Game Boy celebrates its 25th anniversary Monday and game expert Stephen Upstone says the console can be credited with creating a trend towards handheld gaming devices. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) The Internet is taking important steps in patching the vulnerabilities Heartbleed highlighted, but those preventive measures carry their own costs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed the company will use GPS data from the new Nearby Friends feature for advertising sometime in the future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins