Facing your fears: Design of a VR tool for usage within exposure therapy for patients with social anxiety disorders combined with selected game-based elements

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Abstract

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems in Denmark with an estimated 350.000 sufferers. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) often begins in adolescence and has a considerable negative impact on the patient's life. The gold-standard treatment for SAD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A central element in CBT is exposure therapy. During exposure the patient and practitioner gradually confront the feared stimuli. VR Exposure Therapy (VRET) utilizes virtual reality (VR) to provide an immersive and intense experience, comparable to the real world, for patients with anxiety disorders. This paper examines the development and design of two specific VR scenarios: “A Bench Scenario” with two people interacting with the patient and “An Employee Presentation” with four other people. The focus in this paper is regarding the design and development of the specific triggers used to provoke the fear stimuli within the patients with SAD and combined with game elements to enhance these triggers. These scenarios are developed and includes the usage of different game elements. These scenarios are to be tested in a larger RCT study combined with biometric data such as heart rate, sweat, and pulse sensors in order to measure anxiety levels. Both scenarios are to be interpreted in real-time and the scenarios can relay computer game inspired feedback to the practitioner. The overall goal of this project is: a) to shorten the treatment period for the patients, b) make a new approach for the current standard of treatment, and c) to lower the costs in treatment within the public sector. In the future the project will be able to target the specific anxiety triggers within the current patient. This research is a part of a larger project, called VR8, which is divided into several work-packages and between several partners.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelProceedings of the 15th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2021
RedaktørerPanagiotis Fotaris
ForlagAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publikationsdato2021
Sider844-853
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-914587-12-2
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781914587122
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2021
Begivenhed15th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2021 - Brighton, Storbritannien
Varighed: 24. sep. 202025. sep. 2020

Konference

Konference15th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2021
Land/OmrådeStorbritannien
ByBrighton
Periode24/09/202025/09/2020
NavnProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
Vol/bind2021-September
ISSN2049-0992

Bibliografisk note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Emneord

  • Virtual Reality
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • VRET
  • Gamification
  • Exposure Therapy
  • VR

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