A usability assessment on a virtual reality system for panic disorder treatment

Jaelin Lee*, Takashi Kawai, Nahoko Yoshida, Shuhei Izawa, Shinobu Nomura, Douglas Eames, Hisanobu Kaiya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The authors have developed a virtual reality exposure system that reflects the Japanese culture and environment. Concretely, the system focuses on the subway environment, which is the environment most patients receiving treatment for panic disorder at hospitals in Tokyo, Japan tend to avoid. The system is PC based and features realistic video images and highly interactive functionality. In particular, the system enables instant transformation of the virtual space and allows situations to be freely customized according to the condition and symptoms expressed by each patient. Positive results achieved in therapy assessments aimed at patients with panic disorder accompanying agoraphobia indicate the possibility of indoor treatment. Full utilization of the functionality available requires that the interactive functions be easily operable. Accordingly, there appears to be a need for usability testing aimed at determining whether or not a therapist can operate the system naturally while focusing fully on treatment. In this paper, the configuration of the virtual reality exposure system focusing on the subway environment is outlined. Further, the results of usability tests aimed at assessing how naturally it can be operated while focusing fully on treatment are described.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventEngineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2008 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 2008 Jan 312008 Jan 31

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceEngineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Exposure therapy
  • Panic disorder
  • Usability test
  • Virtual reality exposure system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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