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Can you feel it? Effectiveness of anxiety cues for the design of virtual reality exposure therapy

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Abstract
Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) has been widely acknowledged as an effective alternative for in vivo exposure therapy (iVET). So far, previous research focused on long- and short-term effectiveness and comparisons to iVET, whereas the impact of design choices is understudied. Hence, the present study focuses on the effectiveness of several types of anxiety cues for the manipulation of anxiety. More specifically, five interoceptive cues (i.e., “fake” bodily sensations for tunnel vision, light flickering, heartbeat audio, blurred vision, and dizziness) and a physical cue (i.e., heat stimulation) are implemented in the VRET design of a within-subjects experiment with people who have claustrophobic and panic tendencies (N = 24). Results show that adding interoceptive cues significantly increased reported levels of anxiety, independent of the type of interoceptive cue. However, introducing a physical cue in VRET can also be effective but has no real added value when combined. Studies focusing on the design of anxiety cues can be valuable in understanding the effectiveness of VRET.
Keywords
Linguistics and Language, Anthropology, History, Language and Linguistics, Cultural Studies

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MLA
Morton, Jessica, et al. “Can You Feel It? Effectiveness of Anxiety Cues for the Design of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY, vol. 5, no. 2, 2021, pp. 1–17, doi:10.4018/ijvar.2021070102.
APA
Morton, J., De Letter, J., All, A., Daeseleire, T., Depreeuw, B., Haesen, K., … Bombeke, K. (2021). Can you feel it? Effectiveness of anxiety cues for the design of virtual reality exposure therapy. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY, 5(2), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.4018/ijvar.2021070102
Chicago author-date
Morton, Jessica, Jolien De Letter, Anissa All, Tine Daeseleire, Barbara Depreeuw, Kim Haesen, Lieven De Marez, and Klaas Bombeke. 2021. “Can You Feel It? Effectiveness of Anxiety Cues for the Design of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY 5 (2): 1–17. https://doi.org/10.4018/ijvar.2021070102.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Morton, Jessica, Jolien De Letter, Anissa All, Tine Daeseleire, Barbara Depreeuw, Kim Haesen, Lieven De Marez, and Klaas Bombeke. 2021. “Can You Feel It? Effectiveness of Anxiety Cues for the Design of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY 5 (2): 1–17. doi:10.4018/ijvar.2021070102.
Vancouver
1.
Morton J, De Letter J, All A, Daeseleire T, Depreeuw B, Haesen K, et al. Can you feel it? Effectiveness of anxiety cues for the design of virtual reality exposure therapy. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY. 2021;5(2):1–17.
IEEE
[1]
J. Morton et al., “Can you feel it? Effectiveness of anxiety cues for the design of virtual reality exposure therapy,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1–17, 2021.
@article{8748761,
  abstract     = {{Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) has been widely acknowledged as an effective alternative for in vivo exposure therapy (iVET). So far, previous research focused on long- and short-term effectiveness and comparisons to iVET, whereas the impact of design choices is understudied. Hence, the present study focuses on the effectiveness of several types of anxiety cues for the manipulation of anxiety. More specifically, five interoceptive cues (i.e., “fake” bodily sensations for tunnel vision, light flickering, heartbeat audio, blurred vision, and dizziness) and a physical cue (i.e., heat stimulation) are implemented in the VRET design of a within-subjects experiment with people who have claustrophobic and panic tendencies (N = 24). Results show that adding interoceptive cues significantly increased reported levels of anxiety, independent of the type of interoceptive cue. However, introducing a physical cue in VRET can also be effective but has no real added value when combined. Studies focusing on the design of anxiety cues can be valuable in understanding the effectiveness of VRET.}},
  author       = {{Morton, Jessica and De Letter, Jolien and All, Anissa and Daeseleire, Tine and Depreeuw, Barbara and Haesen, Kim and De Marez, Lieven and Bombeke, Klaas}},
  issn         = {{2473-537X}},
  journal      = {{INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY}},
  keywords     = {{Linguistics and Language,Anthropology,History,Language and Linguistics,Cultural Studies}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{2}},
  pages        = {{1--17}},
  title        = {{Can you feel it? Effectiveness of anxiety cues for the design of virtual reality exposure therapy}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/ijvar.2021070102}},
  volume       = {{5}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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