1 November 2005
SUBJECT: Virtual Reality and Military Behavioral Health, Current and Future Trends
1. Purpose. Provide status summary of current VR projects to anticipate future trends.
2. Background. Virtual Reality (VR) as a technological asset has been utilized as a treatment augmentation for phobias, acute pain, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. VR approximates reality by facilitating immersion and interaction within an exclusively computer rendered environment. The acceptance by the individual of the elements making up the immersive virtual environment (VE) is termed presence. Presence is also described as how “real” an experience in the VE seems and it is to this end that substantial resources have been dedicated. Current research involving VR and medicine focuses on prevention and assessment, but most intently on treatment in conjunction with cognitively based exposure therapy. As technological availability improves, the use of VR will likely broaden, but these improvements also have risks. The difficult job of staying current in such a dynamic field may make it less accessible for standardization.
3. Project. Madigan Army Medical Center and the department of behavioral health have recently initiated a psychology internship program. Part of that program allows the interns to take part in quarterly experiential rotations through various clinic activities. This paper was initiated as part of the Research and Technology experience rotation.
Virtual Reality and Military Behavioral Health:
Current and Future Trends
Submitted by Rob Swanson, Psychology Intern, Madigan Army Medical Center
The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs. - Joseph Weizenbaum
The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end...