Immersive Virtual Reality Graded Exposure Therapy  - VRGET

 

Developed by the EU Funded VEPSY Updated (IST-2000-25323) research project

 

Index

  1. The clinical protocol and peer reviewed scientific papers

  2. The Free VRGET software°

  3. The commercial VR software from PREVI

  4. Internet Press coverage

The free VRGET software°

°DISCLAIMER

The information and tools provided on this site are designed to support, not replace the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician.

Visitors are cautioned not to use information and tools from this site as a substitute for regular professional care.

Please note that the clinical value of any VR Tool is related to their use within a standardized clinical protocol tested with controlled clinical trials.

We make every effort to include accurate and up to date information and tools on this site. However, we make no warranties or representations as to its accuracy.
EVERYTHING ON THE SITE IS PROVIDED TO YOU "AS IS" - WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING ACCURACY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, MERCHANTABILITY, NON INFRINGEMENT, RELIABILITY OR AVAILABILITY.

Some jurisdictions may not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so some of the above exclusions may not apply to you. In addition, we will not be liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, indirect, or punitive damages, including damage to, or any viruses that may infect, your computer equipment or other property, on account of your use of the site.

The clinical protocol and peer reviewed scientific papers

For understanding what are Panic Disorders check the NIHM publication: Anxiety Disorders: Real Ilnesses

For a clinical description of what VRGET is and how it compares to actual treatments of Panic Disorders please check the papers*:

The clinical protocol for the use of VRGET in the treatment of PANIC DISORDERS is described in this paper* :

Vincelli, F., Choi, Y.H., Molinari, E., Bouchard, S., Wiederhold, B. K.,  Riva, G. (2000),  Experiential cognitive therapy for the treatment of panic disorder with agoraphobia: definition of a clinical protocol. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 3(3):375-385.

A controlled trial supporting the higher efficacy of VRGET over traditional CBT is described in the paper* below:

F. Vincelli, L. Anolli, S. Bouchard, B. K. Wiederhold, V. Zurloni, G. Riva, (2003), Experiential Cognitive Therapy in the Treatment of Panic Disorders with Agoraphobia: A Controlled Study, Cyberpsychology and Behavior. vol. 6 (3), 321-328.

For a broader description of how VRGET can improve the relationship between patient and therapist check the paper below:

G. Riva, F. Vincelli & E. Molinari (2002). Interaction and Presence in the Clinical Relationship: Virtual Reality (VR) as Communicative Medium Between Patient and Therapist, IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, Vol 6, N. 3, pp. 198-205.

Actually, VRGET is under trial in different research centers world-wide including Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy), Virtual Reality Medical Center (USA), Universitat Jaume I (Spain), Universite du Quebec en Outaouais (Canada).

Adobe Acrobat required for reading the Protocol and the Papers


HOW TO USE VRGET Trial WEB Version - V. b1.4

  1. Download and install the free VISCAPE plug-in that enables virtual reality on your Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator browser. See installation instructions below:

    Viscape for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator

     
    Q. Which hardware and operating system do I need to run Viscape?
    A. You need an Intel based PC with Pentium II/Celeron processor, and 32 MB of RAM (64 preferred). You can run Viscape under Windows Me/98/95, Windows 2000 and NT. Please note that some problems can be experienced by owners of Nvidia cards (download the latest drivers and DIRECTX version).
     
    Direct3D Users: If you are running Windows Me/98/95 and have a Direct3D card or MMX enhanced processor in your system, you can use the Viscape Direct3D driver to display smooth-shaded objects in your worlds. To learn how press here.
     
    Q. Which browser do I need to run Viscape?
    A. You must be running Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 (or later), Netscape Navigator 4 (or later).
     
     
    Viscape Universal 5.62 (svr) for Windows 95/98/NT/XP Home/XP Pro/ and browser versions 4.x or above (4.13 MB)
    Alternative download servers:
     
    For Windows XP only: you may have to run the installer in Windows 95 compatibility mode if it fails the first time. To do this, download and right-click on the Viscape 5.1 file, and then choose Properties, Compatibility: Windows 95. Click Apply. This done, double-click to install the plug-in and it should work.
    Q. How do I install Viscape?
    1. Download the Viscape installer (XXXX.EXE) to a temporary directory.
    2. If you are running Netscape Navigator, exit your browser. If you are running Internet Explorer you do not need to exit the browser.
    3. Run the Viscape installer -- Windows Me/98/95/XP or 2000/NT 4.0 - Start>Run
    4. Follow carefully the instructions in the dialog boxes. If you are prompted to restart Windows, you must do so for Viscape to work correctly.
    5. To learn how to interact with VISCAPE, click here.

  2. Go to the different 3D Healing ExperiencesTM used in the Experiential Cognitive TherapyTM for Panic disorders:

    • FOR USE WITH MOUSE, JOYSTICK (No USB) AND 3D GLASSES (NOT REQUIRED)

     Plaza    Supermarket   Elevator    Subway   

    Low cost 3D glasses can be bought by: X3D (US$ 99) or E-dimensional (US$ 69/99). Both are very effective but require a NVidia graphic card (GeForce). To learn how to interact with VISCAPE (set up of joysticks, devices, etc.), click here.

    • FOR USE WITH JOYSTICK (No USB), HEADSET AND INTERSENSE TRACKER

      To download the drivers for the Intertrax 2/20/30 trackers click here. This driver has to be loaded in the VISCAPE browser using the instructions included. To learn how to interact with VISCAPE (set up of joysticks, devices, etc.), click here.

      Plaza    Supermarket   Elevator    Subway 

    Low cost headsets can be bought by I-O Display System (649/699 US$ for headsets, 995 US$ for the tracker)

    IN EACH 3D Healing ExperienceTM YOU CAN SELECT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE INCLUDED BY SELECTING A SCENARIO (Scroll down the page): THE HIGHEST SCENARIO, THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF PEOPLE


    IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE GRAPHICS CLICK HERE.

  3. Enable the Shared Healing ExperienceTM: The patient and the therapist can experience  on-line the same 3D Healing ExperienceTM and discuss (text and/or voice and/or video) about it.

    You have different possibilities according to the required interaction (text and/or voice and/or video and/or web tour) and the bandwith available:


° Medium bandwidth suggested for voice communication

  • High bandwith (640K ADSL Modem, Cable, or better)

Video, Voice and Text Chat, File Transfer, Collaboration on Shared Documents

Video and Voice Chat (Two persons only), Instant Messaging

Video and Voice Chat, Instant Messaging


Internet Press Coverage

Apr 17 '03 Online Abby Ellin. "Driving Along A Virtual Road to Recovery." Technology.The New York Times.
Nov 14 '02 "Fighting Fear Through Virtual Reality." Special Assignment. KFMB - Local 8. CBS. "http://www.kfmb.com/special_assignment/index.php"
Oct 31 '02

Online

Carol Lebeau. "Panic Attacks: Virtual Reality Therapy, Part II." TheSanDiegoChannel.com - KGTV 10.
Sep 30 '02 Balint, Kathryn. "Virtual Vroom." SignOnSanDiego - San Diego Union Tribune.
Apr 3 '02

Online

Castaneda, Laura. "Facing Your Fears: The Virtual Cure." Channel 4 San Diego Insider.
Winter '01

Online

Balint, Kathryn. "Virtually cured." Headlines. UCSD Alumni Association.
Sep 6 '01 "Inside the Headset, Virtual World Meets Reality." The Matrix. ezboard.
Sep 6 '01

Online

Rivenburg, Roy. "Inside the Headset, Virtual World Meets Reality." Los Angeles Times.
Jul 17 '01

Online

"Panel Discussion: Cognitive-Behavioral Applications in the World of Work: Best Practices and Future Directions." World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (WCBCT): Educational Events: Education/Training. Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT).
May 21 '01

Online

Elias, Marilyn. "Don't be Shy About Therapy." USA Today.
Mar 28 '01 Balint, Kathryn. "Digital Technology Helps Overcome Fear of Flying, Other Phobias." PsycPORT.com. American Psychological Association (APA). "http://www.psycport.com/news/2001/03/28/eng-copley_140557_3_82082761963829.htm"
Jan 29 '01

Online

"Cyber Therapy." Computer Graphics World.
'00

Online

Brandt, Galen. "Creeping Fear of Spiders? Virtual Therapy May Hold Cure." Virtual Healing. VirtualGalen.com.
Nov '00

Online

Ailey, Judy. "Fear of Flying Virtually Disappears." Feature Article. Plane and Pilot.
Nov 27 '00

Online

Sleight, Irene J., MS. "Pseudo-Social World." Suite101.com Inc.
Oct '00

Online

Smith, Amber. "Virtual treatment of real phobias." Health Centers: Mental Health. Discovery Health Channel.
Oct 18 '00

Online

Paige, Randy. "Virtual Reality Therapy." Special Assignment. CBS2 - Los Angeles. KCBS.
Aug 30 '00 "Shyness and Social Phobia." HealthSurfing.com.
Jul '00 "Letter." Canadian Society of Telehealth (CST-SCT). Newsletter #7. "http://www.ucalgary.ca/md/CST"
Jul 24 '00 "Virtual Treatment of Phobias." TheSanDiegoChannel.com - KGTV 10. "http://www.sandiegoinsider.com/partners…stayinghealthy/mentalhealth/phobia.html"
Jul 4 '00

Online

Robbins, Jim. "Virtual Reality Finds a Real Place as a Medical Aid." The Learning Network: Student Connections. NY Times On the Web- Seattle.
Jul 4 '00

Online

Ritter, Malcolm. "Virtual reality treatments for real-world mental disorders." The Associated Press - Atlanta. C-Health. Canoe; MSNBC News. "http://www.msnbc.com/local/RTGA.7335.asp?Ona+22135F11"
Jul 3 '00 "Virtual Treatment." Science News. Cosmiverse.
May 23 '00 "VR treats fear of flying." HealthSurfing.com.
May 1 '00

Online

Kaplan, Arline. "Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy Effective for Patients With Specific Phobias." Vol. 17(5). Psychiatric Times.


* These papers are included as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a non-commercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Please contact the author if you are willing to republish this work in a book, journal, on the Web or elsewhere.