The main goal of this study was to offer data about the efficacy of virtual reality exposure (VRE) in the treatment of panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (PDA). The study was a between-subject design with three experimental conditions (VRE group, in vivo exposure [IVE] group and waiting-list [WL] group) and repeated measures (pre-treatment, post treatment and 12 month follow-up). The treatment programmes lasted 9 weekly sessions. Thirty-seven patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for PDA participated in this study. The improvement achieved using virtual exposure was superior to a WL condition and similar to that achieved using IVE. Our results support the efficacy of VRE in the treatment of PDA at short and long term. The advantages of VRE for the treatment of PDA regarding cost-benefit issues are described.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology