How Technology Influences the Therapeutic Process: A Comparative Field Evaluation of Augmented Reality and In Vivo Exposure Therapy for Phobia of Small Animals

Abstract : In Vivo Exposure Therapy (IVET) has been a recommended protocol for the treatment of specific phobias. More recently, several studies have suggested that Augmented Reality Exposure Therapy (ARET) is a potentially effective technology in this field. The objective of this paper is to report the preliminary results of a comparative analysis of ARET and IVET applied to the treatment of phobia to small animals. To analyze participants’ activity, we have adopted a multidisciplinary and mixed perspective based on clinical and user-centered approaches. This pilot results show that ARET and IVET are both clinically effective. Both therapies produce a significant reduction in the clinical outcome measures and allow the clients to interact with a real phobic stimulus after the therapeutic session. The results also show some main differences between technology-mediated therapy and traditional non-mediated therapy. We discuss these results in terms of future design and evaluation guidelines for Mental Health technologies.
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Maja Wrzesien, Jean-Marie Burkhardt, Mariano Alcañiz, Cristina Botella. How Technology Influences the Therapeutic Process: A Comparative Field Evaluation of Augmented Reality and In Vivo Exposure Therapy for Phobia of Small Animals. 13th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2011, Lisbon, Portugal. pp.523-540, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-23774-4_43⟩. ⟨hal-01590554⟩

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