Treating Combat-Related PTSD with Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy
[Technical Report, Book Chapter]
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES
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Posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD is a chronic condition that occurs in a significant minority of persons who experience life-threatening traumatic events. It is characterized by reexperiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal symptoms American Psychiatric Association, 1994. PTSD has been estimated to affect up to 18 of returning Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF Veterans Hoge et al., 2004. In addition to the specific conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unprecedented number are now surviving serious wounds Blimes, 2007. The stigma of treatment often prevents service members SMs and veterans from seeking help Hoge et al., 2004, so finding an acceptable form of treatment for military personnel is a priority. The current generation of military personnel may be more comfortable participating in a virtual reality treatment approach than in traditional talk therapy, as they are likely familiar with gaming and training simulation technology. This chapter provides information on the development of and research on virtual reality VR as well as the application of VR to mental health treatments, including a protocol of virtual reality exposure VRE utilizing a virtual IraqAfghanistan system for combat-related PTSD.
- Medicine and Medical Research