Twelve-month follow-up of virtual reality and standard exposure therapies for the fear of flying

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2002 Apr;70(2):428-32. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.70.2.428.


This study reports the 12-month follow-up from patients with the fear of flying who were treated in a controlled study and randomly assigned (n = 49) to virtual reality exposure (VRE) therapy, standard exposure (SE) therapy, or to a wait-list control (WL). VRE and SE were equally superior to WL. At 12 months posttreatment, data were gathered on 24 of the 30 (80%) patients who were assigned to VRE or SE. Patients maintained their treatment gains, and 92% of VRE participants and 91% of SE participants had flown on a real airplane since the graduation flight. This is the 1st year-long follow-up of patients having been treated with VRE and indicates that short-term treatment can have lasting effects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aircraft*
  • Desensitization, Psychologic / methods*
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychotherapy, Brief
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted*
  • Travel*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • User-Computer Interface*