||Recently,the application of Virtual Reality Environment Therapy (VRET) in Rehabilitation Medicine has been quickly developed. It is an important assistance tool for Rehabilitation Medicine, for it can be used not only to estimate the ability and progress of the patient, but also to provide the patient the possibility of adequate practice. In addition, it can even bring positive feedbacks and a sense of satisfaction to the patient. In the field of physical rehabilitation, with the help of the software for Virtual Reality Environment and proper assistance tools, the patient is able to retrain many aspects of his physical functions through playing games. For example, pinch, rehabilitation of cardiopulmonary function, physical coordination and so on. VRET reduces the cost and time for training, and it is more stable and safer than traditional rehabilitation, in order to inspire the patient to rehabilitate by himself.|
Besides physical rehabilitation, VRET can also be applied in psychotherapy. In 1995, it was found that VRET is able to trigger off anxiety reaction of acrophobics, and now the therapeutic efficacy of VRET for acrophobia has been proved. Nevertheless, in other fields of psychotherapy, it still needs more researches to prove the therapeutic efficacy of VRET. This research is aimed at claustrophobe, and with the use of head mount display, the subject is placed in an environment of virtual elevator. After testing all kinds of possible dangerous situations, which might occur in real life, the result will show that if those situations panicked the subject. Furthermore, skills of augmented reality (AR) are also applied in this research, in order to contrast with the result of VRET. The subject is required to fulfill three questionnaires (anxiety evaluation, presence and awareness, and technology acceptance) and measure the Heart Rate Variability, so that the physiological reactions of the subject can be completely recorded and be applied in the analysis afterward.
Results of the experiments indicate that both VRET and AR can trigger the subjects’ anxiety, and the efficacy of AR is far more obvious than VRET. In the aspect of presence and awareness, the subjects perceived stronger sense of presence when they were undergoing the AR experiment, because they were actually standing in a real elevator. In the aspect of technology acceptance however, the efficacy of entertainment is not considered to be apparent, but the skills and equipment applied in this experiment are still able to encourage the curiosity and imagination of the subjects, and thus help to accomplish the purposes of this research.
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