Phobia Exposure Therapy Using Virtual and Augmented Reality: A Systematic Review

Albakri, Ghaida and Bouaziz, Rahma and Alharthi, Wallaa and Kammoun, Slim and Al-Sarem, Mohammed and Saeed, Faisal and Hadwan, Mohammed (2022) Phobia Exposure Therapy Using Virtual and Augmented Reality: A Systematic Review. Applied Sciences, 12 (3). p. 1672. ISSN 2076-3417

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A specific phobia is a common anxiety-related disorder that can be treated efficiently using different therapies including exposure therapy or cognitive therapy. One of the most famous methods to treat a specific phobia is exposure therapy. Exposure therapy involves exposing the target patient to the anxiety source or its context without the intention to cause any danger. One promising track of research lies in VR exposure therapy (VRET) and/or AR exposure therapy (ARET), where gradual exposure to a negative stimulus is used to reduce anxiety. In order to review existing works in this field, a systematic search was completed using the following databases: PubMed, ProQuest, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. All studies that present VRET and/or ARET solutions were selected. By reviewing the article, each author then applied the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and 18 articles were selected. This systematic review aims to investigate the previous studies that used either VR and/or AR to treat any type of specific phobia in the last five years. The results demonstrated a positive outcome of virtual reality exposure treatment in the treatment of most phobias. In contrast, some of these treatments did not work for a few specific phobias in which the standard procedures were more effective. Besides, the study will also discuss the best of both technologies to treat a specific phobia. Furthermore, this review will present the limitations and future enhancements in this field.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
28 January 2022Accepted
5 February 2022Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: augmented reality; virtual reality; specific phobia; exposure therapy
Subjects: CAH11 - computing > CAH11-01 - computing > CAH11-01-05 - artificial intelligence
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Computing and Digital Technology
Depositing User: Faisal Saeed
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 14:07
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 14:07

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