ALPHA PSYCHIATRY
Original Articles

Brief Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy and Its Effects on Negative and Positive Emotions Among Healthy Working Adults: A Feasibility Study

1.

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Defense Health, National Defense University of Malaysia, Kem Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2.

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

3.

TNB Integrated Learning Solution (ILSAS), Malaysia

4.

Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Alpha Psychiatry 2022; 23: 223-229
DOI: 10.5152/alphapsychiatry.2022.21781
Read: 60 Downloads: 28 Published: 04 August 2022

Background: The primary purpose of this study is to examine the feasibility of a shortterm virtual reality exposure therapy among healthy working adults sample. The secondary aim is to measure the effect of virtual reality exposure therapy on negative and positive emotions by comparing it to the standard stress management program and the wait-list groups.

Methods: We enrolled 67 participants allocated into 3 groups to receive virtual reality exposure therapy, standard stress management, or wait-list group. The virtual reality exposure therapy group received a total of a 30-minute exposure to a virtual reality environment over 2 weeks. The standard stress management group received a stress management program once during the study period.

Results: The results showed a heterogeneous sample, whereby a significantly younger, less-working years, and higher anxiety baseline score were found in the virtual reality exposure therapy group compared to standard stress management and wait-list groups. Nonetheless, the virtual reality exposure therapy group showed a reduction in depression, anxiety, and stress score (P < .001). The standard stress management group showed a reduction in anxiety score only (P=.002), whereas no significant changes were observed in the wait-list group. For positive emotion, all 3 groups showed significant improvement.

Conclusion: Short-term virtual reality exposure therapy is a feasible intervention for the negative and positive emotions; however, cautious interpretation is needed due to significant heterogeneous sample. Replication of study with comparable groups is recommended.

Cite this article as: Assa’edah Mahmud A, Zakaria H, Zaliman Mohd Yusoff M, Ruzyanei Nik Jaafar N, Baharudin A, Mohd Tamil A. Brief virtual reality exposure therapy and its effects on negative and positive emotions among healthy working adults: A feasibility study. Alpha Psychiatry. 2022;23(5):223-229.

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