Botella C, Quero S, Banos RM, Garcia-Palacios A, Breton-Lopez J, Alcaniz M, Fabregat S
Cyberpsychol Behav 2008 Dec;11(6):659-64
One of the challenges today in the research of psychological treatments based on evidence is their dissemination. Efficacious and effective psychological treatments should be available and accessible for both practitioners and consumers. However, only a small percentage of potential patients actively seek help for psychological problems that could be ameliorated by therapy. Internet-based self-help interventions may help to solve this problem by reducing the amount of actual contact between therapist and patient and by overcoming the geographical barriers that separate them. The aim of this work is to present a completely self-applied telepsychology program (Without Fear) to treat small animal phobia (spiders, cockroaches, and mice), which uses virtual reality scenarios for the exposure tasks. Preliminary data about the efficacy and effectiveness of this program in a series of 12 cases is offered. Participants showed an improvement in all clinical measures at posttreatment, and the therapeutic gains were maintained at a 3-month followup.