Program

Poster
PS26P-10-216

THE COMBINED USE OF VIRTUAL REALITY EXPOSURE IN THE TREATMENT OF AGORAPHOBIA. EMPIRICAL STUDY.

[Speaker] Pitti, Carmen T:1
[Co-author] Penate, Wenceslao:2, Bethencourt, Juan M.:2, Roca-sánchez, María J:3, De La Fuente, Juan:4, Acosta, Leopoldo:5, Villaverde, María L.:6, Gracia, Ramón:7
1:Canary Islands Health Service. Government of the Canary Islands. Spain. (Spain), 2:Department of Clinical Psychology, Psychobiology and Methodology. University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands. (Spain), 3:University of Granada. Granada. (Spain), 4:University Hospital of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. Canary Islands Health Service. Government of the Canary Islands. Tenerife. (Spain), 5:Department of Physics, Electronics and Systems. University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands. (Spain), 6:University School of Nursing and Physiotherapy. University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands. (Spain), 7:University Hospital of the Canary Islands, Tenerife. Canary Islands Health Service. Government of the Canary Islands. (Spain)

Introduction.
This study compares the differential efficacy of three groups of treatments for agoraphobia: paroxetine combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy, paroxetine combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy and virtual reality exposure, and a group with only paroxetine.
Methodology.
99 patients with agoraphobia were finally selected. Both combined treatment groups received 11 sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy, and one of the groups was also exposed to 4 sessions of virtual reality treatment. Treatments were applied in individual sessions once a week for 3 months.
Results.
The three treatment groups showed statistically significant improvements. In some measures, combined treatment groups showed greater improvements. The virtual reality exposure group showed greater improvement confronting phobic stimuli.
Conclusions.
Treatments combining psychopharmacological and psychological therapy showed greater efficacy.
Acknowledgments.
This study was supported by the following spanish grants: PSI2013-42912, PSI2009-09836, SolSubC200801000084, SEJ-2006-13130, FIT-150500-2003-131, and FUNCIS file 33/03.
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