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Using Augmented Reality to Treat Phobias
November/December 2005 (vol. 25 no. 6)
pp. 31-37
M. Carmen Juan, Universidad Polit?cnica de Valencia
Mariano Alca?, Universidad Polit?cnica de Valencia
Carlos Monserrat, Universidad Polit?cnica de Valencia
Cristina Botella, Universitat Jaume I
Rosa M. Ba?, Universidad de Valencia
Belen Guerrero, Universidad de Valencia
Exposure in vivo and VR therapies have proven to be effective in the treatment of different psychological disorders such as acrophobia, claustrophobia, or phobia to small animals; however until now augmented reality (AR) has not been used in these treatments. AR shares some advantages with VR with respect to in vivo treatments. Nevertheless, there are differences between AR and VR: the feeling of presence and reality judgment could be greater in AR. This article presents an AR system for the treatment of phobia to spiders and cockroaches. It was tested on nine patients, five of whom had a phobia to cockroaches and four of whom had a phobia to spiders. After a single 60-minute session using our AR system, the patients were able to approach a real spider/cockroach, interact with it, and kill it by themselves.

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Index Terms:
augmented reality, phobia to cockroaches/spiders, psychological treatments, virtual exposure
Citation:
M. Carmen Juan, Mariano Alca?, Carlos Monserrat, Cristina Botella, Rosa M. Ba?, Belen Guerrero, "Using Augmented Reality to Treat Phobias," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 31-37, Nov.-Dec. 2005, doi:10.1109/MCG.2005.143
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