Virtual reality exposure therapy in anxiety disorders: a systematic review of process-and-outcome studies

Depress Anxiety. 2010 Oct;27(10):933-44. doi: 10.1002/da.20734.


In recent years, virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) has become an interesting alternative for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Research has focused on the efficacy of VRET in treating anxiety disorders: phobias, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. In this systematic review, strict methodological criteria are used to give an overview of the controlled trials regarding the efficacy of VRET in patients with anxiety disorders. Furthermore, research into process variables such as the therapeutic alliance and cognitions and enhancement of therapy effects through cognitive enhancers is discussed. The implications for implementation into clinical practice are considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Implosive Therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reality Therapy*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • User-Computer Interface*