Testing a deactivated virtual environment in pathological Gamblers’ anxiety

Michelle Semonella, Pietro Cipresso, Cosimo Tuena, Alessandra Parisi, Michelle Toti, Aurora Elena Bobocea, Pier Giovanni Mazzoli, Giuseppe Riva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In the last decades the use of Virtual Reality for exposure therapy has become a clinical standard and used in most disorders, including pathological gambling. Nonetheless, previous studies reported that exposure therapy might be not effective if the virtual environments present no interactions or break in presence, among other problems. We hypothesized that a virtual environment representing a gambling place but without lights and sounds or other stimuli promoting interactions, was not effective for gamblers. Thus we tested the anxiety level in a group of 20 pathological gamblers in this lights out virtual environment. Our results shown, by using Bayes Factor, that before and after an exposure to the lights out virtual gambling environments there was no difference in anxiety level. The study shed new light in designing and implementing virtual reality exposure therapy for future clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPervasive Computing Paradigms for Mental Health - 9th International Conference, MindCare 2019, Proceedings
EditorsPietro Cipresso, Silvia Serino, Daniela Villani
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783030258719
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Paradigms for Mental Health, MindCare 2019 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 23 Apr 201924 Apr 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST
ISSN (Print)1867-8211


Conference9th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Paradigms for Mental Health, MindCare 2019
CityBuenos Aires

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering.


  • Addictions
  • Anxiety
  • Exposure
  • Gambling
  • Gambling disorders
  • Psychometrics
  • Virtual reality


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