Augmented Reality Narratives for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment


Globally, it is estimated that up to 1 billion children aged 2-17 years, have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence in the past year [1], and 30% of the abused child is likely to develop Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) [2]; 354 million adult war survivors are suffering from PTSD [3]; At where the natural disaster occurred, 70.7% of the survivor will suffer from acute PTSD [4]. PTSD has not only high prevalence but also high lethality, which is accompanied by multiple physical and mental comorbidities as well as strong suicidal tendencies [5]-[7]. This doctoral research aims to contribute to the development of PTSD treatment by investigating the possibility of adopting Augmented Reality (AR) narrative in treating PTSD. This four-year research project consists of three steps. In the first stage of research, we will conduct a comparative study between AR and VR narratives with healthy participants to verify whether AR narratives work better in eliciting the emotional engagement of the participants than VR narratives. In the second stage, we will create a system that integrates AR narratives with prolonged exposure (PE) treatment and experiment it with PTSD patients to verify its treatment efficacy. In the final stage, a semi-Automatic and patient-Authored AR system is expected to be achieved, through which the patients can design their own exposure environment via voice input. This project will provide valuable experimental samples and scientific analysis for the research of psychotherapy, narrative studies, and AR application.

Adjunct Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality
Chang Liu
From August 2020