Returning soldiers reluctant to seek psychological therapy for combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder have an alternative. The University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies at Los Angeles has developed war gamestyle, vir tual reality applications to treat it. The researchers found that 80 percent of those who completed treatment showed “clinically meaningful reductions” in PTSD-related anxiety and depression.
“The current generation of young military personnel, having grown up with digital gaming technology, may actually be more attracted to and comfortable with participation in virtual reality exposure therapy,” say the researchers, who modeled the applications based on descriptions of soldiers returning from “the war environment.”
The study, in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, deemed the results “encouraging.”