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VR therapy may reduce fear of heights: Study

IANS  |  London 

If you are acrophobic or are scared of heights, then taking automated (VR) based may help reduce the phobia, say researchers.

According to the study, published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, the participants took part in activities during the session that challenged their fears and helped them learn that they were safer than they thought.

"Immersive therapies that do not need a have the potential to dramatically increase access to psychological interventions," said from

"As seen in our clinical trial, treatments have the potential to be effective, faster, and more appealing for many patients than traditional face-to-face therapies.

With our unique automation of therapy using VR, there is the opportunity to provide really high quality treatment to many more people at an affordable cost," Freeman added.

For the study, 100 people with clinically diagnosed of heights, who were not receiving psychological therapy, were divided into two groups and were given either the new automated VR treatment or usual care, which was typically no treatment.

Participants were given six VR treatment sessions roughly for 30 minutes each for two weeks where they wore a VR headset.

Throughout various activities, starting with simpler tasks, such as watching a safety barrier drop gradually, leading to harder tasks like walking on a platform over a large drop, the offered encouragement, and afterwards explained what the participants had learned from their activities and asked whether they felt safer than before.

The also encouraged participants to try real heights between sessions.

At the end of the treatment and at follow-up, participants from the VR group reported that their fears have reduced as opposed to the control group who rated their of heights as remaining similar.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 14:10 IST