Cybertherapy: Internet and Virtual Reality As Assessment and Rehabitation Tools for Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience

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Overview

Cybertherapy, the integration of telehealth technologies with the Internet and shared virtual reality, is used for two reasons: either because there is no alternative, or because it is in some sense better than traditional medicine. Nevertheless, the benefits of cybertherapy, due to the variety of its applications and their uneven development, are not self-evident. However, the emergence of cybertherapy is supporting the cost-effectiveness of certain applications, such as assessment, rehabilitation and therapy in clinical psychology and neuroscience. Its key advantage is the possibility of sharing different media and different health care tools in a simple to use and easily accessible interface. To date, some cybertherapy applications have improved the quality of health care, and later they will probably lead to substantial cost savings. However, cybertherapy is not simply a technology but a complex technological and relational process. In this sense, clinicians and health care providers that want to successfully exploit cybertherapy need to give significant attention to clinical issues, technology, ergonomics, human factors and organizational changes in the structure of the relevant health service. The goal of this volume is to analyze the processes by which cybertherapy applications will contribute to the delivery of state-of-the-art health services. Particular attention is given to the clinical use of virtual reality technology. More in detail, this volume aims at supporting clinicians and scientists, interested in the cybertherapy innovative approach, providing them clinical protocols for the treatment of eating disorders, social phobias, panic disorders and sexual dysfunctions.

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