Journal of Cybertherapy and Rehabilitation

Volume 2 - Issue 2 - Summer 2009

Abstracts

 


Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (2), 95-104

THE VIRTUAL REALITY-COGNITIVEA REHABILITATION (VR-CR) APPROACH FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM 

M. Wang & D. Reid 

 

Children with autism and their families lack treatment options that directly target the cognitive impairments that are characteristic of autism spectrum disorders. The objective of this paper is to present an interactive, cognitive-focused treatment approach that is suggested to complement current treatments for children with autism. We present a brief theoretical overview of the VR-CR approach, followed by a discussion of how the VR-CR approach can and has been put into practice using autism-specific teaching principles. Recommendations for future research are provided. 


Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (2), 105-114

A REVIEW OF THE USE OF VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE TREATMENT OF PHANTOM LIMB PAIN

C. Murray 

 

This papers reviews the development and evidence for the efficacy of virtual reality in the treatment of phantom limb pain experienced by most people following amputation of a limb. The theoretical and empirical antecedents to this development are outlined, followed by consideration of the characteristics and empirical work of three systems which have been reported in academic literature. The paper concludes with a critique of these systems and offer suggestions for future work. 


Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (2), 115-126

REACTIVITY TO VIRTUAL REALITY IMMERSIONS IN A SUBCLINICAL SAMPLE OF WOMEN CONCERNED WITH THEIR WEIGHT AND SHAPE 

A. Aime, K. Cotton & S. Bouchard 

 

Although virtual reality (VR) is a promising exposure technique for people suffering from an eating disorder, it had not been used with women who show significant but subclinical concerns with their weight and shape. Twenty-seven women took part in three immersions in VR (10 concerned and 17 non-concerned). Measures of anxiety were taken before, during and after the immersions. Weight, shape and food concerns, drive for thinness and body dissatisfactions were measured immediately after the immersions. Compared to the neutral environment, the buffet and pool immersions caused a significantly higher level of anxiety and weight preoccupations among the women who were concerned than among those who weren’t. The study conclude VR is effective through the continuum of eating disorders. Not only does it arouse reactions within people suffering from an eating disorder, but also among women concerned by their weight and shape. 


Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (2), 127-138

SIDE EFFECTS OF IMMERSION IN VIRTUAL REALITY FOR PEOPLE SUFFERNING FROM ANXIETY DISORDERS 

S. Bouchard, J. St.-Jacques, P. Renaud & B. Wiederhold

 

 

Side effects caused by immersions in virtual reality (VR) have been documented in experimental studies and with healthy people. With the growing interest of VR applications to assess and treat mental disorders, empirical information on side effects in clinical populations is needed. Three studies were conducted to: (a) describe symptoms and scores on the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) in a sample of 157 adults immersed in VR to treat their phobias, (b) compare exposure treatments involving more or less actions and motions (N = 34); and (c) document the usefulness of assessing symptoms prior to the immersion in VR and following up 26 phobic patients 24 hours post-immersion. Overall, results show that most participants experienced slight side effects, symptoms were strong even before immersion in VR and there are no reasons to be generally concerned with health and safety issues within 24 hours after therapy sessions. Exposure in VR to treat fear of flying was associated with fewer side effects than for other anxiety disorders. The scores on the SSQ were much higher than in studies conducted with non-clinical samples, raising several research questions. Side effects should not be a source of worries but they must be closely monitored and systematically reported in outcome studies.


Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (2), 139-150

MOTIVATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN PROBLEM VIDEO GAME PLAY 

D. King & P. Delfabbro

 

 

Self-determination theory states that motivation plays an important role in initiating, developing and maintaining involvement within an activity. The present study applied this theory to video game playing and surveyed 399 video game players, 82 percent of which were male with a mean age of 20.3 years old, on measures of video game playing involvement, motivation to play video games and problem video game play. Participants were obtained from various video game retail outlets, Internet cafes, and LAN gaming businesses. The results showed that extrinsic motivations to play video games, such as tension release, social approval

and external regulation by in-game rewards, and amotivation, or playing without a sense of purpose about the activity, were significant predictors of problem video game playing. The results were discussed in terms of their application to identifying and assisting young people with potentially problematic levels of video game playing.


Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (2), 151-158

VIOLENT GAME ACCEPTANCE: THE INFLUENCES OF AGGRESSION TENDENCY, THRILL SEEKING AND PERCEIVED RISK

C. Wang & M. Yang 

 

This study examines the relationship between physical aggression, thrill seeking, perceived risk, and behavioral intention of playing violent video games. This study collected data from 619 participants using an online survey, and analyzed the data through structural equation modeling. The results of this study suggest that physical aggression, thrill seeking, and perceived risk affect the behavioral intention of playing violent video games. Physical aggression and thrill seeking are positively related with behavioral intention, while perceived risk is negatively related. Results show that males exhibit higher levels of physical aggression and thrill seeking than females, and lower levels of perceived risk than females. Males also prefer to play violent video games more than females. 


Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (2), 159-167

CONFORTING COMMUNICATION IN AN ONLINE EPILEPSY FORUM

C. Fullwood & N. Wootton 

 

There is a tendency to think that face-to-face communication, particularly with respect to emotionally-sensitive issues, is a superior means of offering support compared to computer-mediated communication (CMC). However, there may be situations in which the reduced intimacy of CMC is beneficial to providing support. The current study investigated whether conditions necessary for effective supportive communication as outlined by Burleson and Goldsmith (1998), including anonymity, self-disclosure, discussion of thoughts and feelings and suggestion of change, were present in an online support forum produced by The National Society of Epilepsy. A content analysis was completed on 120 posts and results suggest that all conditions necessary for effective supportive communication were met within the forum. Furthermore, anonymity seems to be a key factor in allowing posters to discuss their thoughts and feelings. It may be the case that the stigma often associated with Epilepsy has a smaller impact with CMC.