Virtual reality for the treatment of body image disturbances

Giuseppe Riva, Luca Melis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes the characteristics and preliminary evaluation of The Virtual Environment for Body Image Modification (VEBIM), a set of tasks aimed at treating body image disturbances and body dissatisfaction associated with eating disorders. Two methods are commonly used to treat body image: (1) a cognitive/behavioural therapy to influence patients' feelings of dissatisfaction; (2) 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 not only make it possible to intervene simultaneously on all of the forms of bodily representations, but also to use the psycho-physiological effects provoked on the body by the virtual experience for therapeutic purposes. The chapter, together with the description of the VEBIM theoretical approach, it also presents a study on two preliminary samples (71 normal subjects, uncontrolled study, 48 normal subjects, controlled study) to test its efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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