Fear of Heights
Using VR worlds to treat people with a fear of heights have been extensively studied in this project. In 1999 we completed a pilot study with low budget VR equipment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of low-budget virtual reality exposure versus exposure in vivo in a within group design in ten individuals suffering from acrophobia (phobia of heights).
Furthermore we completed another study in which we evaluated the effectiveness of low-budget virtual reality exposure versus exposure in vivo. According to this study there were no differences between the effectiveness of gradual exposure in vivo and VR exposure. Both conditions improved significantly and didn’t differ in their degree of improvement. The decline in fear of heights was sustained at six months follow-up. It seems that VR exposure has the same effectiveness as exposure in vivo, even when measured on a behavioural avoidance test.