COMPUTER BASED EXPOSURE THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43MH064971-01
Agency Tracking Number: MH064971
Amount: $117,284.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
VIRTUALLY BETTER, INC.
VIRTUALLY BETTER, INC., 2450 LAWRENCEVILLE HWY, STE 101, DECATUR, GA, 30033
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 PAGE ANDERSON
 (404) 634-3400
 ANDERSON@VIRTUALLYBETTER.COM
Business Contact
 KEN GRAAP
Phone: (404) 634-3400
Email: GRAAP@VIRTUALLYBETTER.COM
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This 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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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