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Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 263–271 | Cite as

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for PTSD Vietnam Veterans: A Case Study

  • Barbara Olasov Rothbaum
  • Larry Hodges
  • Renato Alarcon
  • David Ready
  • Fran Shahar
  • Ken Graap
  • Jarrel Pair
  • Philip Hebert
  • Dave Gotz
  • Brian Wills
  • David Baltzell
Article

Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) integrates real-time computer graphics, body tracking devices, visual displays, and other sensory input devices to immerse a participant in a computer-generated virtual environment that changes in a natural way with head and body motion. VR exposure (VRE) is proposed as an alternative to typical imaginal exposure treatment for Vietnam combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This report presents the results of the first Vietnam combat veteran with PTSD to have been treated with VRE. The patient was exposed to two virtual environments, a virtual Huey helicopter flying over a virtual Vietnam and a clearing surrounded by jungle. The patient experienced a 34% decrease on clinician-rated PTSD and a 45% decrease on self-rated PTSD. Treatment gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up.

PTSD Vietnam virtual reality exposure therapy 

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Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Olasov Rothbaum
    • 1
  • Larry Hodges
    • 2
  • Renato Alarcon
    • 3
  • David Ready
    • 3
  • Fran Shahar
    • 1
  • Ken Graap
    • 4
  • Jarrel Pair
    • 2
  • Philip Hebert
    • 2
  • Dave Gotz
    • 2
  • Brian Wills
    • 2
  • David Baltzell
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryEmory University School of MedicineAtlanta
  2. 2.College of ComputingGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryAtlanta VAMCAtlanta
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyEmory UniversityAtlanta

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