Virtual Reality Applications for the Assessment and Treatment of PTSD (bibtex)
by Albert Rizzo, Michael J. Roy, Arno Hartholt, Michelle Costanzo, Krista Beth Highland, Tanja Jovanovic, Seth D. Norrholm, Chris Reist, Barbara Rothbaum, JoAnn Difede
Abstract:
War is one of the most challenging situations that a human being can encounter. The physical, emotional, cognitive, and psychological demands of a combat environment place tremendous stress on even the most well-prepared military people. It is no surprise that the stressful experiences, characteristics of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, have produced significant numbers of service members (SMs) and veterans at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as other psychosocial/behavioral health conditions. For example, as of June 2015, the Defense Medical Surveillance System reported 138,197 active duty SMs had been diagnosed with PTSD (Fischer, 2015). In a meta-analysis of studies published since 2001, 13.2\% of infantry service members met the criteria for PTSD, with incidence rising dramatically to 25–30\% in units with high levels of direct combat exposure (Kok, Herrell, Thomas, & Hoge, 2012). Moreover, as of early 2013, the prevalence of PTSD among discharged veterans receiving treatment at Veteran Affairs (VA) clinics was reported to be 29\% (Fischer, 2013). These findings make a compelling case for a continued focus on developing and enhancing the availability of diverse evidence- based treatment options to address this military behavioral healthcare challenge. One emerging area of research and clinical focus is of the use of Virtual Reality (VR) simulation technology as a tool for delivering evidence-based approaches for the assessment and treatment of PTSD. Although in recent times, the popular media has lavishly reported on VR’s potential impact on all elements of our evolving digital culture, and has created the impression that VR is a novel technology, the reality is that VR is not a new concept, and many of its developmental roots are traceable to the 1980s and 1990s (Schnipper et al., 2015). Moreover, a large scientific literature has emerged over the last 20 years demonstrating the unique and added value that is accrued with the use of VR to address a wide range of clinical health conditions (Rizzo 1994; Rizzo et al., 1997; 2002; 2010; 2014; Rizzo, Cukor et al., 2015). Within that context, the present chapter will summarize the ways that researchers and clinicians have employed VR to create relevant simulations that can be applied to the assessment and treatment of PTSD.
Reference:
Virtual Reality Applications for the Assessment and Treatment of PTSD (Albert Rizzo, Michael J. Roy, Arno Hartholt, Michelle Costanzo, Krista Beth Highland, Tanja Jovanovic, Seth D. Norrholm, Chris Reist, Barbara Rothbaum, JoAnn Difede), Chapter in Handbook of Military Psychology, Springer International Publishing, 2017. (DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-66192-6\_27)
Bibtex Entry:
@incollection{rizzo_virtual_2017,
	address = {Cham, Switzerland},
	title = {Virtual {Reality} {Applications} for the {Assessment} and {Treatment} of {PTSD}},
	isbn = {978-3-319-66190-2 978-3-319-66192-6},
	url = {http://link.springer.com/10.1007/978-3-319-66192-6_27},
	abstract = {War is one of the most challenging situations that a human being can encounter. The physical, emotional, cognitive, and psychological demands of a combat environment place tremendous stress on even the most well-prepared military people. It is no surprise that the stressful experiences, characteristics of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, have produced significant numbers of service members (SMs) and veterans at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as other psychosocial/behavioral health conditions. For example, as of June 2015, the Defense Medical Surveillance System reported 138,197 active duty SMs had been diagnosed with PTSD (Fischer, 2015). In a meta-analysis of studies published since 2001, 13.2\% of infantry service members met the criteria for PTSD, with incidence rising dramatically to 25–30\% in units with high levels of direct combat exposure (Kok, Herrell, Thomas, \& Hoge, 2012). Moreover, as of early 2013, the prevalence of PTSD among discharged veterans receiving treatment at Veteran Affairs (VA) clinics was reported to be 29\% (Fischer, 2013). These findings make a compelling case for a continued focus on developing and enhancing the availability of diverse evidence- based treatment options to address this military behavioral healthcare challenge.

One emerging area of research and clinical focus is of the use of Virtual Reality (VR) simulation technology as a tool for delivering evidence-based approaches for the assessment and treatment of PTSD. Although in recent times, the popular media has lavishly reported on VR’s potential impact on all elements of our evolving digital culture, and has created the impression that VR is a novel technology, the reality is that VR is not a new concept, and many of its developmental roots are traceable to the 1980s and 1990s (Schnipper et al., 2015). Moreover, a large scientific literature has emerged over the last 20 years demonstrating the unique and added value that is accrued with the use of VR to address a wide range of clinical health conditions (Rizzo 1994; Rizzo et al., 1997; 2002; 2010; 2014; Rizzo, Cukor et al., 2015). Within that context, the present chapter will summarize the ways that researchers and clinicians have employed VR to create relevant simulations that can be applied to the assessment and treatment of PTSD.},
	booktitle = {Handbook of {Military} {Psychology}},
	publisher = {Springer International Publishing},
	author = {Rizzo, Albert and Roy, Michael J. and Hartholt, Arno and Costanzo, Michelle and Highland, Krista Beth and Jovanovic, Tanja and Norrholm, Seth D. and Reist, Chris and Rothbaum, Barbara and Difede, JoAnn},
	month = dec,
	year = {2017},
	note = {DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-66192-6\_27},
	keywords = {MedVR, UARC, Virtual Humans},
	pages = {453--471}
}
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