VR In PTSD Therapy

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Virtual reality, or VR, is an idea that has been around since the 1900’s with some traces of it showing up in the 1800’s. VR itself refers to a three-dimensional environment that can be interacted with in a number of ways, the most common being through VR headsets like the Oculus Rift. Such headsets are designed with lens in front of your eyes to enlarge an LED display, providing a wide range of viewing area and is usually combined with audio to provide an immersive experience. Although this idea has been around for multiple lifespans, it has only recently began to make any major impact on society. VR started catching people’s eye in gaming when the company Oculus released the Oculus DK1 for sale in March, 2013. Although VR has slowly become…show more content…
The way it is used for therapy is a form of exposure therapy called VRGET, which stands for virtual reality graded exposure therapy. The treatment focuses on putting the patient in an environment that is similar to or reminds them of a traumatic event they experienced during their service. To check the effectiveness of VR in PTSD therapy, a study took note of skin conductance, heart rate, and temperature before, during, and after treatment on multiple occasions during a patients therapy period to use as indicators. The findings of the study point towards VR therapy being helpful to the patient as his heart rate was lowest after exposure at the end of therapy, suggesting that the patient was better able to keep himself calm or was less affected by flashbacks after having them. The patients temperature was also closer to average at the end of therapy, encouraging the same idea that they were less affected by their stressors. Similar evidence was found with skin conductance (Woods 310-313). It is still unclear if VRGET should become the standard form of therapy for PTSD affected veterans or even if it is more or less effective than other standard therapy methods, or if it has similar results with other forms of PTSD. The only thing about VR in this area that is certain is that it does work to some extent and that it likely will become more effective over time as the technology…show more content…
As a reference, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain becomes blocked or hindered in some way, long enough for cells in your brain to die from oxygen deprivation. Once these cells die, you lose access to the functions they provide causing stroke patients to have problems such as paralysis or speech issues. It is dependent on each case what symptoms develop if the stroke isn’t fatal. Current practices for helping stroke victims include forms of physical and speech therapy depending on the effects and severity of the stroke. In an article wrote by Yamato and others, VR use was compared to these forms of “conventional therapy” by itself as well as its effect when used alongside normal methods. The exact method of therapy wasn’t recorded for all experiments done making the information less reliable, but overall the use of VR seemed to have an impact in “upper arm functions” and “activities of daily living” when used in addition to the normal methods. This means that stroke patients who lost some mobility or functions in their arms, or had trouble with daily activities such as taking a bath or cooking have had more success when they underwent usual therapy methods in addition to using VR. Overall there isn’t much recent news or studies about the impact of VR in stroke
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