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Brief Reports   |    
Effectiveness of computer-generated (virtual reality) graded exposure in the treatment of acrophobia
Am J Psychiatry 1995;152:626-628.
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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.

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