To increase the accessibility and efficiency of virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) this paper proposes a system for home-based use where patients with social phobia are supported by a virtual health agent. We present an overview of our system design, and discuss key techniques such as (1) dialogue techniques to create automated free speech dialogue between virtual characters and patients in virtual reality worlds; (2) a multi-modal automatic anxiety feedback-loop mechanism to control patients’ anxiety level; and (3) motivational techniques applied by a virtual health agent. The system was evaluated in a pilot study where five patients with social phobia utilized our home-based VRET system. The results showed that the system was able to evoke the required anxiety in patients and that over time self-reported anxiety and heart rate gradually decreased as expected in exposure therapy.
|Title of host publication||Pervasive Computing Paradigms for Mental Health|
|Subtitle of host publication||Mindcare 2015 International Symposium on Pervasive Computing Paradigms for Mental Health|
|Editors||S. Serino, A. Matic, D. Giakoumis, G. Lopez, P. Cipresso|
|Place of Publication||Cham|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Apr 2016|
|Event||MindCare 2015: 5th International Conference - Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy|
Duration: 24 Sep 2015 → 25 Sep 2015
Conference number: 5
|Name||Communications in Computer and Information Science|
|Period||24/09/15 → 25/09/15|
- Virtual reality therapy
- Virtual coach
- Virtual health agent
- Behaviour change support system
- Social anxiety disorder
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Data underlying the publication: Home-Based Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy with Virtual Health Agent Support.