A mobile virtual reality system, equipped with built-in variables such as heart rate (HR), gaze-down data, and subjective fear rating, can allow individuals with a fear of heights to overcome it by self-training. This study aimed to verify the efficacy and safety of the training program. Forty-eight volunteers completed the four-session self-training program over 2 weeks. They were allocated into either low- or high-fear group by the Acrophobia Questionnaire (AQ)-anxiety scores, and then the changes of the built-in variables and AQ-anxiety scores were analyzed between the groups. The safety was assessed using the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ). The AQ-anxiety scores were significantly decreased after self-training in both groups, and the degree of decrease was significantly greater in the high-fear group than in the low-fear group. Gaze-down percentage and subjective fear rating showed a significant group difference, but HR did not. The SSQ scores were within the acceptable level. These results suggest that the training effect was greater in the high-fear group than in the low-fear group. This mobile program may be safely applicable to self-training for individuals with high scores on the fear of heights by repeated exposure to virtual environments with the embedded feedback system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Computer Science Applications