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International Journal on Disability and Human Development

Official journal of the the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel

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Volume 10, Issue 4


Post-traumatic stress disorder treatment with virtual reality exposure for criminal violence: a case study in assault with violence

Georgina Cárdenas-López / Anabel De la Rosa-Gómez
  • Virtual Teaching and Cyberpsychology Laboratory, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
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Published Online: 2011-11-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IJDHD.2011.061


Exposure to criminal violence is associated with mental health problems, such as depression, substance use and abuse. However, one of the most important psychological problems linked with victims of violence is post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). In Mexico, according to the ENSI-5 in 2009, 11% of the population over 18 years of age experienced a crime. One in four of those who were victims of violence develop PSTD symptoms. Due to this socially relevant problem and based on the efficacy of previous virtual reality (VR) clinical applications for combat-related PSTD, our group developed four VR scenarios to treat victims of criminal violence. Data obtained from a case study of a person who experienced assault with violence showed significant changes through reduced levels of anxiety and PTSD symptoms, illustrating the effectiveness of such treatment.

Keywords: criminal violence; post-traumatic stress disorder treatment; prolonged exposure; virtual reality

About the article

Corresponding author: Georgina Cárdenas-López, PhD, Virtual Teaching and Cyberpsychology Laboratory, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Av. Universidad 3004, Col. Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, Mexico Phone: +55-56222292, Fax: +55-56160778

Received: 2010-11-01

Accepted: 2011-05-01

Published Online: 2011-11-09

Published in Print: 2011-11-01

Citation Information: International Journal on Disability and Human Development, Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 379–383, ISSN (Online) 2191-0367, ISSN (Print) 2191-1231, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IJDHD.2011.061.

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