Virtual reality (VR) was introduced to maximize the effect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) by efficiently performing exposure therapy. The purpose of this study was to find out whether VR-based individual CBT with relatively few treatment sessions is effective in improving social anxiety disorder (SAD). This therapy was applied to 115 patients with SAD who were retro-spectively classified into 43 patients who completed the nine or 10 sessions normally (normal termination group), 52 patients who finished the sessions early (early termination group), and 20 patients who had extended the sessions (session extension group). The Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (BFNE) scores tended to decrease in all groups as the session progressed, and the slope of decrease was the steepest in the early termination group and the least steep in the session extension group. Severity of social anxiety in the last session and symptom reduction rate showed no significant group difference. Our findings suggest that short-term VR-based individual CBT of nine to 10 sessions may be effective. When the therapeutic effect is insufficient during this period, the additional benefit may be minimal if the session is simply extended. The improvement in the early termination group suggests that even shorter sessions of five or six can also be effective.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2021 Mar 1|
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