A Pilot Evaluation of a Therapeutic Game Applied to Small Animal Phobia Treatment

  • Maja Wrzesien
  • Mariano Alcañiz
  • Cristina Botella
  • Jean-Marie Burkhardt
  • Juana Breton Lopez
  • Alejandro Rodriguez Ortega
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8778)


This study presents Catch Me game, a therapeutic game for teaching patients how to confront to their feared animals during spider and cockroach phobia treatment, and evaluates whether inclusion of gaming elements into therapeutic protocol does have an added value for the treatment. The Catch Me game was designed in order to help patients learn about their feared animals and to learn how to apply adapted confrontation strategies and techniques with the lowest possible anxiety level. In this study, Catch Me game was evaluated in terms of knowledge acquisition, anxiety level, self-efficacy belief acquisition, and appeal to both participants and therapists. Data collection consisted of quantitative measures on a sample of 14 non-clinical population. The results showed that the game significantly improved knowledge and self-efficacy belief regarding the feared animal, and significantly decreased the anxiety level of participants. Moreover, both participants and the therapists were highly satisfied with the game.


Therapeutic games augmented reality phobias 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maja Wrzesien
    • 1
  • Mariano Alcañiz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cristina Botella
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jean-Marie Burkhardt
    • 4
  • Juana Breton Lopez
    • 3
  • Alejandro Rodriguez Ortega
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto Interuniversitario de Investigación en Bioingeniería y Tecnología Orientada al Ser, HumanoUniversidad Politécnica de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.CIBER, Fisiopatología Obesidad y Nutrición, CB06/03 Instituto de Salud Carlos IIISpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Psicologia Basica y PsicobiologiaUniversidad Jaume ICastellónSpain
  4. 4.Institut Français des Sciences et Technologies des Transports, de l’Aménagement et des, RéseauxVersaillesFrance

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