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Virtual reality, real emotions: a novel analogue for the assessment of risk factors of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dibbets P, Schulte-Ostermann MA - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: More immersion was observed in the VR paradigm compared to the TFP.The results of the risk factors were mixed; more imagery ability coincided with a higher intrusion frequency, but also with less distressing intrusions.The results, implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Clinical Psychological Science, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University , Maastricht, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Most people are exposed to a violent or life-threatening situation during their lives, but only a minority develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Experimental studies are necessary to assess risk factors, such as imagery ability, for the development of PTSD. Up to now the trauma film paradigm (TFP) has functioned as an analogue for PTSD. This paradigm is known to induce involuntary intrusions, a core symptom of PTSD. Though useful, the film paradigm has a drawback, the participant remains an "outsider" and does not immerse in the film scenes. The aim of the present study was to develop a fitting virtual reality (VR) analogue for PTSD and to assess risk factors for the development of PTSD-symptoms, such as intrusions. To this end a novel VR paradigm was compared to the traditional TFP. Both the VR and TFP elicited a negative mood and induction-related intrusions. More immersion was observed in the VR paradigm compared to the TFP. The results of the risk factors were mixed; more imagery ability coincided with a higher intrusion frequency, but also with less distressing intrusions. The results, implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Screenshots from the virtual reality scene.
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Figure 1: Screenshots from the virtual reality scene.

Mentions: The VR scene was created by a digital artist (see for a portfolio5) and depicted a distressing scene between a woman and a man (see Figure 1). The general content of the VRE was similar to the corresponding movie scenes; a woman was severely physically assaulted by her lover. The scene took place in a dark and small alley, including background noises of a city and also lasted for 2:30 min. At the beginning of the scene, the couple entered the alley having an argument. The participant was located at the other end of the alley, from a first person’s point of view. After a few seconds, the man started to attack the woman with increasing intensity. The scene ended with the woman lying motionless on the ground and the man leaving the alley.


Virtual reality, real emotions: a novel analogue for the assessment of risk factors of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dibbets P, Schulte-Ostermann MA - Front Psychol (2015)

Screenshots from the virtual reality scene.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4440899&req=5

Figure 1: Screenshots from the virtual reality scene.
Mentions: The VR scene was created by a digital artist (see for a portfolio5) and depicted a distressing scene between a woman and a man (see Figure 1). The general content of the VRE was similar to the corresponding movie scenes; a woman was severely physically assaulted by her lover. The scene took place in a dark and small alley, including background noises of a city and also lasted for 2:30 min. At the beginning of the scene, the couple entered the alley having an argument. The participant was located at the other end of the alley, from a first person’s point of view. After a few seconds, the man started to attack the woman with increasing intensity. The scene ended with the woman lying motionless on the ground and the man leaving the alley.

Bottom Line: More immersion was observed in the VR paradigm compared to the TFP.The results of the risk factors were mixed; more imagery ability coincided with a higher intrusion frequency, but also with less distressing intrusions.The results, implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Clinical Psychological Science, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University , Maastricht, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Most people are exposed to a violent or life-threatening situation during their lives, but only a minority develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Experimental studies are necessary to assess risk factors, such as imagery ability, for the development of PTSD. Up to now the trauma film paradigm (TFP) has functioned as an analogue for PTSD. This paradigm is known to induce involuntary intrusions, a core symptom of PTSD. Though useful, the film paradigm has a drawback, the participant remains an "outsider" and does not immerse in the film scenes. The aim of the present study was to develop a fitting virtual reality (VR) analogue for PTSD and to assess risk factors for the development of PTSD-symptoms, such as intrusions. To this end a novel VR paradigm was compared to the traditional TFP. Both the VR and TFP elicited a negative mood and induction-related intrusions. More immersion was observed in the VR paradigm compared to the TFP. The results of the risk factors were mixed; more imagery ability coincided with a higher intrusion frequency, but also with less distressing intrusions. The results, implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus