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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

We reviewed the literature on virtual reality techniques in older adults. Although treatment of specific phobias in older adults by virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) is feasible and might be effective, this has yet not been evaluated in randomized controlled trials. The few controlled studies that involved older adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) did not provide robust evidence that VRET is an effective treatment for older people with PTSD. However, research shows that virtual reality techniques can be beneficial to prevent cognitive decline via either cybercycling or memory trainings. A few studies have investigated whether older people may profit from virtual reality training of motor balance, and results are largely positive. It is concluded that it is therapeutically prudent to give older adults more time to adapt to virtual environments in the treatment of anxiety disorders and to slow down the exposure speed for this group.

Keywords: virtual reality, exposure, treatment, intervention, age, older adults, memory training

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