0-Phobia: towards a virtual cure for specific phobias (WC2016-063)

Background

Starting date: 01/11/2016

Specific phobias, such as fear of heights, are the most common form of mental health disorders worldwide for which very effective exposure treatment exists. However, due to high costs, stigma, and long waiting lists, access to evidence-based therapy is currently limited. Studies show that Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) is as effective as traditional forms of exposure therapy but involves relatively high costs and limited accessibility which makes it prohibitive for the larger part of the population. This project will delevop and test an affordable treatment modality that is available for anybody, anywhere: 0-phobia, a self-help VRET for fear of heights, that is delivered through a smartphone application (app) in combination with rudimentary cardboard Virtual Reality (VR) goggles.