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Diemer, Julia and Zwanzger, Peter (2019): Die Entwicklung virtueller Realität als Expositionsverfahren. In: Nervenarzt, Vol. 90, No. 7: pp. 715-723

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BackgroundVirtual reality (VR) has been investigated as amedium for exposure therapy of anxiety disorders for 20years. Various meta-analyses have provided convincing evidence of the therapeutic efficacy of exposure therapy in VR.ObjectiveIn recent years VR technology and its applications have considerably improved. Therefore, the current state of the art of VR exposure therapy is presented.Material and methodsThis article provides anarrative review of current research on VR exposure therapy for anxiety disorders and major directions of development in this area.ResultsAfter an almost exclusive focus on specific phobias in the early days, research on more complex anxiety disorders (particularly on social anxiety disorder) is increasing. In addition, VR has become established as an experimental method to probe psychopathological processes and to elucidate the mechanism of action of (VR) exposure therapy.ConclusionThere is still aneed for more research into VR exposure therapy, especially in complex anxiety disorders (e.g. panic disorder, agoraphobia and social anxiety disorder) and trauma-related disorders. Furthermore, VR has become established as aresearch tool. The rapid technological development gives reason to expect acontinuing increase in VR research, in clinical as well as basic research.

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