A Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Virtual Reality and In Vivo Exposure Therapy as Psychological Interventions for Public Speaking Anxiety

Rachel Reeves, David Curran, Amanda Gleeson, Donncha Hanna*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Public speaking anxiety (PSA) is a prevalent condition with disabling occupational, educational, and social consequences. Exposure therapy is a commonly utilized approach for treating PSA. Traditionally, this intervention has been delivered as in vivo exposure therapy (IVET). Limitations inherent to in vivo as a mode of delivery have been identified and studies have increasingly explored the use of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) as an alternative. Understanding the efficacy of both VRET and IVET as psychological interventions for PSA is important. A systematic search identified 11 studies with 508 participants. Meta-analysis yielded a large significant effect wherein VRET resulted in significant reductions in PSA versus control of −1.39 (Z = 3.96, p <.001) and a similar large significant effect wherein IVET resulted in significant reductions in PSA versus control of −1.41 (Z = 7.51, p <.001). Although IVET was marginally superior to VRET, both interventions proved efficacious. Given the advantages of utilizing VRET over IVET future research and clinical practice could explore VRET as a treatment option for PSA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavior Modification
Early online date03 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • exposure
  • meta-analysis
  • public speaking anxiety
  • virtual reality exposure therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Virtual Reality and In Vivo Exposure Therapy as Psychological Interventions for Public Speaking Anxiety'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this