The use of biofeedback in clinical virtual reality

the INTREPID project.

Claudia Repetto, Alessandra Gorini, Cinzia Vigna, Davide Algeri, Federica Pallavicini, Giuseppe Riva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by a constant and unspecific anxiety that interferes with daily-life activities. Its high prevalence in general population and the severe limitations it causes, point out the necessity to find new efficient strategies to treat it. Together with the cognitive-behavioral treatments, relaxation represents a useful approach for the treatment of GAD, but it has the limitation that it is hard to be learned. The INTREPID project is aimed to implement a new instrument to treat anxiety-related disorders and to test its clinical efficacy in reducing anxiety-related symptoms. The innovation of this approach is the combination of virtual reality and biofeedback, so that the first one is directly modified by the output of the second one. In this way, the patient is made aware of his or her reactions through the modification of some features of the VR environment in real time. Using mental exercises the patient learns to control these physiological parameters and using the feedback provided by the virtual environment is able to gauge his or her success. The supplemental use of portable devices, such as PDA or smart-phones, allows the patient to perform at home, individually and autonomously, the same exercises experienced in therapist's office. The goal is to anchor the learned protocol in a real life context, so enhancing the patients' ability to deal with their symptoms. The expected result is a better and faster learning of relaxation techniques, and thus an increased effectiveness of the treatment if compared with traditional clinical protocols.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Biofeedback
Anxiety Disorders
Virtual reality
Personal digital assistants
Anxiety
Anchors
Exercise
Gages
Relaxation Therapy
Aptitude
Innovation
Mentally Ill Persons
Clinical Protocols
Feedback
Psychiatry
Learning
Equipment and Supplies
Therapeutics
Population
Biofeedback (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

The use of biofeedback in clinical virtual reality : the INTREPID project. / Repetto, Claudia; Gorini, Alessandra; Vigna, Cinzia; Algeri, Davide; Pallavicini, Federica; Riva, Giuseppe.

In: Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, No. 33, 2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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