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Aug 17, 2006

The Application of VR to the Treatment of PTSD Following the WTC Attack

The Application of Virtual Reality to the Treatment of PTSD Following the WTC Attack.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Jul;1071:500-1

Authors: Difede J, Cukor J, Patt I, Giosan C, Hoffman H

Recent research suggests that virtual reality (VR) enhanced exposure therapy may enhance the efficacy of treatment through increasing patient engagement in the exposure. This study evaluated the use of VR in the treatment of PTSD following the WTC attack of September 11, 2001. Individuals in a 14 session VR-enhanced treatment (n=9) were compared to a waitlist (WL) control group (n=8). ANOVA showed a significant interaction of time by group (p<.01) with a large effect size of 1.53. The VR group showed significantly greater post-treatment decline in CAPS scores compared to the WL. Our preliminary data suggests that VR is an effective tool for enhancing exposure therapy for both civilians and disaster workers who suffer from PTSD.

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