A new study from a team of researchers in Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, have found that the use of virtual reality could improve the standard treatment for paranoia and anxiety.
As said by the lead author of the study, Roos M.C.A.Pot-Kolder…
“The addition of virtual reality CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to standard treatment reduced paranoid feelings, anxiety, and use of safety behaviors in social situations, compared with standard treatment alone.”
Two groups of people diagnosed with a psychotic disorder were compared, one group were treated with standard treatment and the other group were additionally treated with virtual reality. From this, it was found that the additional treatment of VR helped to improve functioning social and community settings, daily activities and self-care.
‘Standard treatment’ consists of antipsychotic medication, regular contact with a psychiatrist, and social support from a psychiatric nurse. The virtual reality uses CBT which focuses on solving current problems.
Another discovery the research team made was that they found out 90% of people diagnosed with psychosis believe that others constantly want to harm them, so they avoid social interaction as much as possible – using virtual reality can allow people to step out of their comfort zone without it being reality, thus preparing them in the best possible way before the real life interaction.
In conclusion, virtual reality is clearly starting to show more and more advantages in the medical / science field – hopefully the results from this study will encourage more research into its use for other medical disorders.
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