University of Twente Student Theses


In virtuo exposure therapy for children diagnosed with social anxiety disorder

Bercea, I.A. (2021) In virtuo exposure therapy for children diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.

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Abstract:Virtual reality is a leading edge technology that has been consistently used over the past few years in research studies concerning social interaction between humans. Its popularity has only been increasing in this domain ever since. Among these studies, there are those that target treating social anxiety disorder (SAD) with the help of virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET). However, these studies tend to focus on the adult population, whereas research on VRET treatment of children suffering from this exact same disease is still lacking. This paper aims to find out whether VRET is a plausible means of treating children with social phobia, knowing that this technology has been proven to work on the adult population. Results show that VRET is an effective treatment technique on children, however subject to the same technology-related downsides as in the case of an adult population. Added challenges in treating children with SAD with the help of VRET come largely from the ethical considerations, caused by the synergy between a new technology for which there is no legal ground and the highly regulated medical treatment administered on children. Research showing VRET is feasible on treating social anxiety in the young population will set the ground for further studies involving exposure therapy through VR in treating not only children with SAD, but also other conditions affecting social interaction.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Computer Science BSc (56964)
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