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Agoraphobia: combined treatment and virtual reality. Preliminary results

Agoraphobia: combined treatment and virtual reality. Preliminary results

Actas Espanolas de Psiquiatria 36(2): 94-101

Several validation studies have identified the use of certain psychodrugs, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and combined treatment as effective procedures for the treatment of agoraphobia. Recent findings suggest that agoraphobia can also be treated with virtual reality techniques (VRET) as an alternative exposure technique to virtual reality stimuli. Twenty-seven patients with agoraphobia were distributed into two groups of psychoactive drugs (paroxetine and venlafaxine) and into two cognitive- behavioral procedures (with or without exposure to VRET). Seven virtual situations were used. Preliminary results show significant improvements in all the experimental groups. Regarding the psychodrugs (paroxetine and venlafaxine) both significantly improved the symptoms and in regards to the CBT, patients treated with VRET, especially the chronic patients, seem to obtain the best results. Agoraphobia combined treatments including paroxetine, venlafaxine and cognitive-behavioral therapy (with or without VRET) seem to have clear benefits for the patients. VRET seem to be a possible and effective treatment for agoraphobic patients, especially for those with chronic agoraphobia.

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Accession: 051419702

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PMID: 18365789

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