Virtual reality therapy for social phobia: A scoping review

Elham Salehi, Mahdi Mehrabi, Farhad Fatehi, Asiyeh Salehi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Virtual reality (VR) has become an interesting alternative for the treatment of social phobia. This scoping review explored the impact of VR technologies in the treatment of social phobia (25 papers were included). Treatment approaches to social phobia included virtual reality exposure therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, exposure group therapy, in vivo exposure therapy, and waiting list. VR was identified as the most successful approach, not only in improving social phobia, but also resulting in real life changes such as improvement in occupational success. VR Head Mounted Displays were used in most of studies (76%), followed by VR-based Specific Systems (24%). Although VR techniques indicated positive impact on patients to reduce their anxiety, it is paramount to consider variables such as the way therapists control the environment as well as individuals' characteristics for achieving the best outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Personalized Health and Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of MIE 2020
EditorsLouise B. Pape-Haugaard, Christian Lovis, Inge Cort Madsen, Patrick Weber, Per Hostrup Nielsen, Philip Scott
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781643680835
ISBN (Print)9781643680828
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event30th Medical Informatics Europe Conference - Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 28 Apr 20201 May 2020
Conference number: 30th

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Conference30th Medical Informatics Europe Conference
Abbreviated titleMIE 2020


  • Social anxiety
  • Social fear
  • Social phobia
  • Virtual reality

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