A pilot of acceptance and commitment therapy for public speaking anxiety delivered with group videoconferencing and virtual reality exposure (Pages 47-54)

Volume 12, April 2019, Pages 47-54

Erica K. Yuen, Elizabeth M. Goetter, Michael J. Stasio, Philip Ash, Briana Mansour, Erin McNally, Morgan Sanchez, Erica Hobar, Simone Forte, Kristin Zulaica, Jordan Watkins


Two pilot studies (N = 11; N = 15) assessed the feasibility and efficacy of a weekly 6-session ACT group videoconferencing intervention for public speaking anxiety with participants in separate physical locations. Both studies found significant improvements in self-reported social anxiety symptoms from pre-treatment to follow-up, with high levels of patient satisfaction. Results provide support for group videoconferencing as a viable format for delivering behavioral treatments including acceptance-based interventions. The second study also found significant improvements in behavioral performance and supported the feasibility and utility of videotaped virtual audiences for homework exposure exercises. No significant differences in anxiety levels were experienced during in vivo homework exposures compared to virtual homework exposures. Practically, clinicians are encouraged to pay particular attention to optimizing physiological arousal during exposures and to consider technological and ethical factors of these formats.

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