Virtual Reality for Anxiety and Stress-Related Disorders: A SWOT Analysis

  • Javier Fernández-AlvarezEmail author
  • Desirée Colombo
  • Cristina Botella
  • Azucena García-Palacios
  • Giuseppe Riva
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 288)


Virtual Reality (VR) Therapy has emerged in the 90s as an appealing way of delivering exposure treatment. Throughout these years, ample evidence has been published. Although there is an agreed consensus regarding its efficacy, currently a quick shift in the field is being experienced, especially due to the advent of off-the-shelf technology that is greatly facilitating its dissemination. In this context, theoretical discussions of the field appear as an important action in order to take stock of the mounting evidence that has been produced and the main challenges for the coming future. To stimulate the discussion in a burgeoning field, a SWOT analysis is proposed, which may help to map the field of VR therapy for anxiety and stress-related disorders. Overall, it is undoubted that VR appears as a well-established technology for the treatment of ASRD and the main challenges are in line with the possibility of hurdling the same obstacles that the whole field of clinical psychology and psychotherapy has to deal with: How to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice.


Virtual reality therapy Anxiety disorders SWOT analysis 



This work was supported by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network AffecTech (project ID: 722022) funded by the European Commission H2020.


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Fernández-Alvarez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Desirée Colombo
    • 2
  • Cristina Botella
    • 2
    • 3
  • Azucena García-Palacios
    • 2
    • 3
  • Giuseppe Riva
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychology of the Catholic UniversityMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Basic Psychology, Clinic and PsychobiologyUniversitat Jaume ICastellónSpain
  3. 3.CIBER Fisiopatología Obesidad y Nutrición, Instituto Salud Carlos IIIMadridSpain
  4. 4.Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab at IRCCS Istituto Auxologico ItalianoMilanItaly

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