AnxEpi-VR

Intervention Design and Pilot to Evaluate
VR-Therapy on People With Epilepsy and Related Anxiety Disorders

Over 28% of people with epilepsy struggle from at least one anxiety disorder, making anxiety the most common psychiatric comorbidity in this population. Exposure therapy can be helpful in managing anxiety in PwE and Virtual Reality (or VR) has been shown to be an effective tool for delivering ET for several anxiety disorders. 

 

The use of untethered-VR headsets to deliver ET in this population offers numerous potential benefits. For example, it may not be practical to do exposures in-person during COVID-19. And even outside of the pandemic, VR reduces the need for travel, which is difficult for PwE in normal circumstances as driver’s licenses are typically suspended after a confirmed seizure. It also allows for more equitable access to healthcare resources for those who may not live in urban centers and saves money and time. 

 

Despite these benefits, to-date, no research has been conducted to-date on VR-ET in PwE. 

 

We are designing and rigorously evaluating a VR-ET program administered in private residences that focuses on decreasing anxiety in PwE. 

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