Virtual reality therapy (VRT) [आभासी वास्तविकता चिकित्सा], also known as Virtual Reality Immersion Therapy (VRIT), Simulation For Therapy (SFT), Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET), and Computerized CBT (CCBT), is the use of virtual reality technology for psychological or occupational therapy and in affecting virtual rehabilitation. Patients receiving virtual reality therapy navigate through digitally created environments and complete specially designed tasks often tailored to treat a specific ailment. Technology can range from a simple PC and keyboard setup to a modern virtual reality headset. Virtual reality therapy has also been used to help stroke patients regain muscle control, to treat other disorders such as body dysmorphia, and to improve social skills in those diagnosed with autism. Having considered its vital applications, Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System brings out this unique article for our valuable readers.
Virtual reality therapy Definition (आभासी वास्तविकता चिकित्सा की परिभाषा)
Virtual reality therapy is the use of simulated interactive and immersive environments as a tool for physical or psychological healthcare applications.
Virtual reality therapy Description (आभासी वास्तविकता चिकित्सा का विवरण)
Visual and auditory stimuli (दृश्य और श्रवण उत्तेजना)
Virtual reality therapy (VRT) uses specially programmed computers, visual immersion devices, and artificially created environments to give the patient a simulated experience that can be used to diagnose and treat psychological conditions that cause difficulties for patients. In many environmental phobias, reactions to the perceived hazards, such as heights, speaking in public, flying, closed spaces, are usually triggered by visual and auditory stimuli.
Artificial controlled stimuli (कृत्रिम नियंत्रित उत्तेजना)
In VR-based therapies, the virtual world is a means of providing artificial, controlled stimuli in the context of treatment, and with a therapist able to monitor the patient’s reaction. Unlike traditional cognitive behavioral therapy, VR-based treatment may involve adjusting the virtual environment, such as for example adding controlled intensity smells or adding and adjusting vibrations, and allow the clinician to determine the triggers and triggering levels for each patient’s reaction. VR-based therapy systems may allow replaying virtual scenes, with or without adjustment, to habituate the patient to such environments.
Virtual reality exposure therapy (आभासी वास्तविकता अनावरण चिकित्सा)
Therapists who apply virtual reality exposure therapy, just as those who apply in-vivo exposure therapy, can take one of two approaches concerning the intensity of exposure. The first approach is called flooding, which refers to the most intense approach where stimuli that produce the most anxiety are presented first.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) [पोस्ट अभिघातजन्य तनाव विकार]
VR-exposure, as compared to in-vivo exposure has the advantage of providing the patient a vivid experience, without the associated risks or costs. VRT has great promise since it historically produces a “cure” about 90% of the time at about half the cost of traditional cognitive behavior therapy authority, and is especially promising as a treatment for PTSD where there are simply not enough psychologists and psychiatrists to treat all the veterans with anxiety disorders diagnosed as related to their military service.
Advanced virtual reality medicines (उन्नत आभासी वास्तविकता दवा)
Recently there have been some advances in the field of virtual reality medicine. Virtual reality is a complete immersion of the patient into a virtual world by putting on a headset with an LED screen in the lenses of the headset. This is different from the recent advancements in augmented reality. Augmented reality is different in the sense that it enhances the non-synthetic environment by introducing synthetic elements to the user’s perception of the world. This in turn “augments” the current reality and uses virtual elements to build upon the existing environment.
Virtual reality therapy vital Applications (आभासी वास्तविकता चिकित्सा महत्वपूर्ण अनुप्रयोग)
Psychological therapy (मनोवैज्ञानिक चिकित्सा)
Exposure therapy (अनावरण चिकित्सा)
Virtual reality technology is especially useful for exposure therapy – a treatment method in which patients are introduced and then slowly exposed to a traumatic stimulus. Inside virtual environments, patients can safely interact with a representation of their phobia, and researchers don’t need to have access to a real version of the phobia itself.
One very successful example of virtual reality exposure therapy is the PTSD treatment system, Virtual Iraq. Using a head-mounted display and a gamepad, patients navigate a Humvee around virtual recreations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the United States. According to a review of the history of Virtual Iraq, one study found that it reduced PTSD symptoms by an average of fifty percent, and disqualified over seventy-five percent of participants for PTSD after treatment.
Virtual reality exposure therapy is also commonly used for treating specific phobias, especially small animal phobia. This technique has also been used experimentally to treat other fears such as public speaking and claustrophobia.
In 2011, three researchers at York University proposed an affordable virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) system for the treatment of phobias that could be set up at home.
Virtual rehabilitation (आभासी पुनर्वास)
The term virtual rehabilitation was coined in 2002 by Professor Daniel Thalmann of EPFL (Switzerland) and Professor Grigore Burdea of Rutgers University (USA). In their view, the term applies to both physical therapy and cognitive interventions such as for patients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, phobias, anxieties, attention deficits or amnesia. Since 2008, the virtual rehabilitation “community” has been supported by the International Society on Virtual Rehabilitation
Today, a majority of the population uses the virtual environment to navigate their daily lives and almost one-fourth of the world population uses the internet. As a result, virtual rehabilitation and gaming rehabilitation, or rehabilitation through gaming consoles, have become quite common.
Some factors to consider in virtual rehabilitation include cultural sensitivity, accessibility, and the ability to finance virtual therapy.
Advantages of virtual rehabilitation (आभासी पुनर्वास के लाभ)
Virtual rehabilitation offers a number of advantages compared to conventional therapeutic methods:
- It is entertaining, thus motivating the patient
- Provides objective outcome measures of therapy efficacy
- Clients feel more actively involved in the desensitization
- Effective for hospitals to reduce their costs
- The great impact of virtual reality on pain relief
- A lower cost of medicine and equipment
Disadvantages of Virtual reality therapy (आभासी वास्तविकता चिकित्सा के नुकसान)
There are different types of issues based on virtual reality:
- VR devices were not comfortable
- Not useful for patients with some special symptoms
Virtual reality therapy: Therapeutical targets (आभासी वास्तविकता चिकित्सा: चिकित्सीय लक्ष्य)
In February 2006 the UK’s National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended that VRT be made available for use within the NHS across England and Wales, for patients presenting with mild/moderate depression, rather than immediately opting for antidepressant medication. Some areas have developed, or are trialing.
At Auckland University in New Zealand, a team led by Dr. Sally Merry has been developing a computerized CBT fantasy “serious” game to help tackle depression amongst adolescents. The game, Sparx, has a number of features to help combat depression, where the user takes on a role of a character who travels through a fantasy world, combating “literal” negative thoughts and learning techniques to manage their depression.
Eating disorders and body dysmorphia (खाने के विकार और शरीर में बदबू आना)
Virtual reality therapy has also been used to attempt to treat eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Tasks included showing patients the implications of reaching their desired weight, comparing their actual body shape to an avatar created using their perceived body size, and altering a virtual reflection to match their actual body size.
Acrophobia (ऊँचाई का डर)
A study published in the Lancent Psychiatry proved that Virtual Reality therapy can help treat acrophobia i.e. fear of height.
Occupational therapy (व्यावसायिक चिकित्सा)
Virtual reality has been shown to improve the social skills of young adults with autism. In one study, participants controlled a virtual avatar in different virtual environments and maneuvered through various social tasks such as interviewing, meeting new people and dealing with arguments. Researchers found that participants improved in the areas of emotional recognition in voices and faces and in considering the thoughts of other people. Many other studies have also explored this occupational therapy option.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (अभिघातज के बाद का तनाव विकार)
It may also be possible to use virtual reality to assist those with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder). The virtual reality allows the patients to relive their combat situations at different extremes as a therapist can be there with them guiding them through the process. Some scholars believe that this is a great way to treat these patients as it allows for the recreation of exactly what they went through. “It allows for greater engagement by the patient and, consequently, greater activation of the traumatic memory, which is necessary for the extinction of the conditioned fear.”
Virtual reality also has applications in the physical side of occupational therapy. For stroke patients, various virtual reality technologies can help bring fine control back to different muscle groups. Therapy often includes games controlled with haptic-feedback controllers that require fine movements, such as playing piano with a virtual hand. The Wii gaming system has also been used in conjunction with virtual reality as a treatment method.
Chronic pain (पुराना दर्द)
Chronic pain patients can tolerate the VR session without the side effects that sometimes come with VR such as headaches, dizziness or nausea.
Virtual reality is also helping patients overcome balance and mobility problems resulting from stroke or head injury. In the study of VR, the modest advantage of VR over conventional training supports further investigation of the effect of video-capture VR or VR combined with conventional therapy in larger-scale randomized, more intense controlled studies. It shows the VR-assisted patients had better mobility when the doctors checked in two months later. Other research has shown similarly successful outcomes for patients with cerebral palsy undergoing rehab for balance problems.
Memory loss (स्मृति लोप)
VR smoothly blurs the demarcation between the physical world and the computer simulation as surgeons can use latest versions of virtual reality glasses to interact in a three-dimensional space with the organ that requires surgical treatment, view it from any desired angle and able to switch between 3D view and the real CT images.
Disorders treated by Virtual reality therapy (आभासी वास्तविकता चिकित्सा द्वारा उपचारित विकार)
Virtual reality therapy for PTSD is one of the most common uses of VR in the therapy industry, but many other applications also exist. Here is a partial list of those:
- Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Agoraphobia (fear of places, especially public places)
- Acrophobia (fear of heights)
- Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
- Pteromerhanophobia (fear of flying)
- Glossophobia (fear of public speaking)
- Panic attacks
- Sleep disorders
- Pain management
- Stage fright
- Mood disorders
- Addictive behaviors
The list of phobias and other disorders numbers in the hundreds. Fortunately, VR can effectively treat the majority of these economically and effectively.