Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for Combat

2016-12-22 21:23:22 | BioPortfolio


This non inferiority trial will compare Prolonged Exposure with Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy in adult patients with combat related PTSD.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects a significant number of combat soldiers, with some studies suggesting 20% have PTSD. PTSD is related to a number of other detrimental effects, on the individual, such as mood disorders and alcohol abuse, on family members, and on society at large. Although effective treatments for PTSD exist, primarily types of cognitive behavior therapy, their uptake is very low. Studies have shown that a variety of factors act as barriers to care. These include not having the time for therapy, no therapy being locally available, and general stigma about therapy. In military populations, this stigma includes worries about the attitudes of unit members and commanding officers. As a result, many combat veterans do not seek therapy. Recently, it has been suggested that providing therapy in non-conventional settings might overcome some of these barriers. Studies over the last decade have shown that using Virtual Reality is a potential option. Virtual reality is a computer based environment that allows the therapist complete control over its multimedia components. VR is easily adaptable to exposure based treatments, where patients gradually come into contact with feared situations. VR for PTSD following combat, terror and motor vehicle accidents have all shown to be effective treatments. The studies so far are few, involve a small number of patients, and have often not adhered to gold standards of controlled trials. In addition, VR for combat in Israel has never been developed or tested.

The current study is a randomized controlled trial, that will compare traditional face-to-face treatment with Virtual Reality, for combat related PTSD. Blind assessors will examine levels of PTSD and other disorders before treatment, immediately after treatment, and at 6 month follow up.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment




Prolonged Exposure, Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy


Bar Ilan University
Ramat Gan




Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-12-22T21:23:22-0500

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PubMed Articles [18309 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Treatment technique in a virtual environment which allows the participant to experience a sense of presence in an immersive, computer-generated, three-dimensional, interactive environment that minimizes avoidance behavior and facilitates emotional involvement. (from Curr Psychiatry Rep (2010) 12:298)

A condition of the feet produced by prolonged exposure of the feet to water. Exposure for 48 hours or more to warm water causes tropical immersion foot or warm-water immersion foot common in Vietnam where troops were exposed to prolonged or repeated wading in paddy fields or streams. Trench foot results from prolonged exposure to cold, without actual freezing. It was common in trench warfare during World War I, when soldiers stood, sometimes for hours, in trenches with a few inches of cold water in them. (Andrews' Diseases of the Skin, 8th ed, p27)

The prevention of infection or disease following exposure to a pathogen. This is most frequently addressed by administering a vaccine or anti-viral medication following exposure to a virus.

Exposure of the female parent, human or animal, to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals that may affect offspring. It includes pre-conception maternal exposure.

The health and other ramifications of military and civilian exposure to WAR .

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