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Importance of Virtual Reality to a Controlled Stimulus

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Annual rept. 25 Sep 2011-24 Sep 2012

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This study is a follow up to two projects, funded by the Office of Naval Research, which demonstrated that Virtual Reality VR Exposure Therapy was safe for the treatment of combat PTSD Disorder, and that it worked better than treatment as usual. In this study, we are attempting to discover if the Virtual Reality is actually the active component of the treatment. Participants with PTSD are randomized to receive the same treatment that was successful in the previous projects, or the same treatment in which a simple, still computer image replaces the VR. At the last annual review, our findings were indicating that VR treatment and the control condition resulted in similar improvements, but that improvements in the VR condition persisted whereas those in the control condition did not. In the last year, we have continued to recruit, assess, and treat individuals with combat related PTSD. Results with our larger sample size continue to demonstrate similar findings as last year s analysis. We have presented these findings at the American Psychiatric Association and will be presenting them at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies meeting. Sample size has not yet reached our original target, and we do not yet have enough data to examine particular predictors of treatment success. We hope to reach these goals in our final year of study.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology

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