New Technologies for Relaxation: The Role of Presence

Daniela Villani, Francesco Riva, Giuseppe Riva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, several publications have appeared on virtual reality (VR) therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders. However, a limited number of these studies targeted stress management and relaxation. To evaluate the efficacy of VR as a support tool in the relaxation process, this study compared its efficacy with two other media (DVD and audiotape). The goals of the experiment were to test the efficacy of each condition in increasing relaxation and reducing anxiety, and whether the sense of presence-the feeling of being inside the media content-correlated with the efficacy of the treatment. Results suggested the importance of the sense of presence as a mediating variable between the media experience and the efficacy of the protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-274
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • presence
  • relaxation
  • stress
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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