Schizophrenia is a mental disorder affecting 1-2% of the population and it is estimated 12-16% of hospital beds in Australia are occupied by patients with psychosis. The suicide rate for patients with this diagnosis is higher than that of the general population. Any technique which enhances training and treatment of this disorder will have a significant societal and economic impact. A significant research project using Virtual Reality (VR), in which both visual and auditory hallucinations are simulated, is currently being undertaken at the University of Queensland. The virtual environments created by the new software are expected to enhance the experiential learning outcomes of medical students by enabling them to experience the inner world of a patient with psychosis. In addition the Virtual Environment has the potential to provide a technologically advanced therapeutic setting where behavioral, exposure therapies can be conducted with exactly controlled exposure stimuli with an expected reduction in risk of harm. This paper reports on the current work of the project, previous stages of software development and future educational and clinical applications of the Virtual Environments.
- Exposure therapy
- Virtual reality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering