Testing a Deactivated Virtual Environment in Pathological Gamblers’ Anxiety
In the last decades the use of Virtual Reality for exposure therapy has become a clinical standard and used in most disorders, including pathological gambling. Nonetheless, previous studies reported that exposure therapy might be not effective if the virtual environments present no interactions or break in presence, among other problems. We hypothesized that a virtual environment representing a gambling place but without lights and sounds or other stimuli promoting interactions, was not effective for gamblers. Thus we tested the anxiety level in a group of 20 pathological gamblers in this lights out virtual environment. Our results shown, by using Bayes Factor, that before and after an exposure to the lights out virtual gambling environments there was no difference in anxiety level. The study shed new light in designing and implementing virtual reality exposure therapy for future clinical applications.
KeywordsGambling Virtual reality Anxiety Exposure Psychometrics Gambling disorders Addictions
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