Efficacy of Virtual Reality Based Worry Exposure Therapy on the Anxiety Severity and Worry in Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Neda Keshavarz, Touraj Hashemi Nosrat Abad, Mansour Beyrami, Majid Mahmoud alilou, Abbas Bakhshipour Roudsari


Background: Generalized anxiety disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders observed in clinical centers and the general population. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of virtual reality-based worry exposure therapy on the Anxiety Severity and worry in patients with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted in the framework of a single-subject experimental design using Multiple baselines with a 6-week follow-up. Three women with GAD were selected through a structured clinical interview based on the criteria of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 by Convenience Sampling among those who referred to the Counseling centers in Tabriz. The protocol of this study followed the manual by Becker and Margraf which describes imaginal exposure for GAD applied in 15 sessions. The only difference was that in this research exposure to virtual reality replaced with imagination. In this study, three 360-degree films were made by the researcher used for exposure. The content made in the form of 360-degree videos and displayed to patients through virtual reality tools. The scales to assess changes in Anxiety Severity and worry include The Penn State Worry Questionnaire and The Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale. Data analyzed with visuals inspection, improvement percentage, and reliable change index strategies. Results: Results showed that virtual reality-based worry exposure therapy has significant efficiency on the reduction of Anxiety Severity and worry clinically and statistically (p<0.05). Conclusion: Virtual reality-based worry exposure therapy has appropriate efficacy in reducing GAD symptom severity.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Virtual Reality, Worry Exposure Therapy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.abcmed.v.9n.2p.21


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