Currently submitted to: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Date Submitted: Mar 19, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Mar 19, 2020 - May 14, 2020
(currently open for review)
Design and Validation of Virtual Environments for the Treatment of OCD related to fear to contamination
“Exposure therapy is highly effective to treat cleaning obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, traditional techniques, such as in vivo or imaginal exposure, show important limits that make the adherence to the treatment and/or the correct emotional activation difficult. Virtual Reality (VR) is a potential alternative to overcome such inconveniences. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop virtual environments clinically relevant for patients with cleaning OCD and assess their efficiency to obtain emotionally significant responses. Based on this, two scenarios were developed, with progressive levels of dirtiness: a public restroom and a kitchen. Both were applied to a clinical group (18 patients with cleaning OCD) and to a control one (22 without OCD). Both scenarios produced anxiety levels significantly higher in the clinical group. This result is a valuable support for the clinical use of these environments”.
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