Augmented Reality: A Brand New Challenge for the Assessment and Treatment of Psychological Disorders

Comput Math Methods Med. 2015;2015:862942. doi: 10.1155/2015/862942. Epub 2015 Aug 3.


Augmented Reality is a new technological system that allows introducing virtual contents in the real world in order to run in the same representation and, in real time, enhancing the user's sensory perception of reality. From another point of view, Augmented Reality can be defined as a set of techniques and tools that add information to the physical reality. To date, Augmented Reality has been used in many fields, such as medicine, entertainment, maintenance, architecture, education, and cognitive and motor rehabilitation but very few studies and applications of AR exist in clinical psychology. In the treatment of psychological disorders, Augmented Reality has given preliminary evidence to be a useful tool due to its adaptability to the patient needs and therapeutic purposes and interactivity. Another relevant factor is the quality of the user's experience in the Augmented Reality system determined from emotional engagement and sense of presence. This experience could increase the AR ecological validity in the treatment of psychological disorders. This paper reviews the recent studies on the use of Augmented Reality in the evaluation and treatment of psychological disorders, focusing on current uses of this technology and on the specific features that delineate Augmented Reality a new technique useful for psychology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cockroaches
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / trends
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Models, Psychological
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy
  • Spiders
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / trends
  • User-Computer Interface*
  • Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy / methods*
  • Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy / statistics & numerical data