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Contextos Clínicos

versión impresa ISSN 1983-3482


DONAT, Julia Candia; BARBOSA, Marcio Englert; SILVA, Gustavo Ramos  y  KRISTENSEN, Christian Haag. Virtual reality exposure therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder of bank employees: a case study with the virtual bank. Contextos Clínic [online]. 2017, vol.10, n.1, pp. 23-32. ISSN 1983-3482.

Exposure Therapy (ET) is an established treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in which patients gradually confront trauma memories through mental imagery. Virtual Reality Exposure (VRE) is an alternative for those who have difficulties in recreating such memories. Most studies develop VRE scenarios of war or accidents; however, traumatic events in Brazil are mainly of urban violence. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the quality of the Virtual Bank scenario through a pilot case study of a banker with PTSD through a cognitive behavioral therapy protocol. METHOD: A 39-year-old bank employee diagnosed with PTSD through the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID) took part on a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) protocol including VRE. Patient's symptoms were assessed through Beck's anxiety and depression inventories, the Screen for Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory. The therapy protocol was comprised of 16 sessions divided into three blocks: (i) psychoeducation; (ii) exposure and (iii) cognitive restructuring and relapse prevention. Reassessments were conducted at the end of each block. The sense of presence in the Virtual Bank was assessed through the Presence Questionnaire (PQ). RESULTS: The patient presented at least 60% of reduction on all instruments and no longer met criteria for PTSD at posttreatment. The greatest reduction on PTSD symptoms scores occurred after the VRE block (-44.8%). The mean score of the PQ was 5.24. CONCLUSION: CBT protocol with VRE was effective in reducing all measures in this case study. Quality evaluation of the Virtual Bank was positive. Results are promising and similar to those of other innovative case studies using VRE for PTSD.

Palabras clave : Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Virtual Reality; Trauma; Exposure Therapy.

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