COMPUTER BASED EXPOSURE THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY
Small Business Information
VIRTUALLY BETTER, INC., 2450 LAWRENCEVILLE HWY, STE 101, DECATUR, GA, 30033
AbstractThis study will develop and test the feasibility of using virtual reality technology as a part of a computer-based exposure (CBE) self-help program to address public speaking fears. Public speaking anxiety is the most common fear among individuals, affecting up to 57 percent of the general population. Although cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for social anxiety, many individuals do not seek treatment. Self-help programs are one popular alternative to psychiatric treatment. Primary goals of Phase I include are to develop a virtual environment for public speaking anxiety that can be used as a part of a CBE self-help program and to determine the effectiveness of CBE as compared to pre-treatment baseline. Ten participants who meet criteria for social phobia with a prominent fear of public speaking will be assessed using standardized measures prior to and following CBE and again at three-month follow-up. Phase II will test the relative efficacy of CBE and a cognitive-behavioral self-help manual for social anxiety versus a waitlist. The long-term objectives include the development of an effective and affordable self-help program utilizing virtual reality, leading to direct commercial access for anxiety sufferers to help them help themselves.
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