Virtual Environment for Body Image Modification: Virtual Reality System for the Treatment of Body Image Disturbances

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Abstract

The paper describes the characteristics and preliminary evaluation of the Virtual Environment for Body Image Modification (VEBIM), a virtual reality environment aimed at treating body image disturbances and body dissatisfaction associated with eating disorders. Two methods are commonly used to treat body image: (a) a cognitive/behavioral therapy to influence patients' feelings of dissatisfaction and (b) a visual/motorial therapy with the aim of influencing the level of bodily awareness. VEBIM tries to integrate these two therapeutic approaches within an immersive virtual environment. This choice would make it possible both to intervene simultaneously on all of the forms of bodily representations, and to use the psycho-physiological effects provoked on the body by the virtual experience for therapeutic purposes. As well as the description of the VEBIM theoretical approach, the paper also presents a study on two preliminary samples (71 normal subjects, uncontrolled study; 48 normal subjects, controlled study) to test the efficacy of VEBIM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-490
Number of pages14
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 7 1998

Keywords

  • Body image disturbances
  • Eating disorders
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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