Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation
Summer 2009, Volume 2, Issue 2
Welcome to the Summer 2009 issue of the Journal of CyberTher- apy & Rehabilitation (JCR). We are pleased to bring the fifth issue of our publication to readers, critics and researchers around the world. Our peer-reviewed academic journal explores the uses of advanced technologies for therapy, training, education, pre- vention and rehabilitation. JCR is a quarterly-published aca- demic journal, unique in the fact that it focuses on the rapidly expanding worldwide trend of applying ground-breaking tech- nology towards the field of healthcare. Psychiatry, psychology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurorehabilitation, oncol- ogy, obesity, eating disorders and autism continue to be main areas of interest studied by JCR.
Since our inaugural issue, JCR has received attention from peers, international institutions and international conferences. A common thirst for new knowledge and application of cutting-edge technolo- gies to better the lives of others drives this diverse group of people towards a similar goal. Advanced technologies, such as robotics, adaptive displays, E-health, virtual reality (VR) and non-invasive physiological monitoring are now applied to many diverse fields of healthcare. As this body of research is added to, patients, doctors and therapists can look towards a hopeful future and new ways to treat mental and physical disorders. The content of this issue of JCR reflects our diversity, featuring such topics as VR immersions, the effects of video game playing and online forums to treat suf- ferers of disease.
In the first article Wang and Reid explore the application of a virtual reality-cognitive rehabilitation (VR-CR) approach in treating autism in children. In this study, virtual reality (VR) was used as an interactive, cognitive-focused treatment which allowed for greater flexibility than traditional methods for treating autism.
Next, Murray presents research based on the treatment of phan- tom limb pain in amputees using VR. Studies using research stemming from traditional “mirror-box” methods were con- ducted and Murray looks closely at three VR systems that were implemented in the treatment of phantom limb pain.
In the third article, Aime, Cotton and Bouchard take a close look at women suffering from eating disorders and implement VR as an experimental new form of treatment for these patients. VR im- mersions were conducted to assess whether or not treatment was successful in helping women suffering from eating disorders as well as overall concern over their weight and shape.
Bouchard, St-Jacques, Renaud and Wiederhold, in the fourth manuscript, address the side effects of immersions in VR for people suffering from anxiety disorders. In this study, researchers used a sample group of patients suffering from anxieties of various types and measured reports of side effects before and after VR immer- sions to determine whether or not patients and therapists should be concerned about the lasting complications of side effects.
In the fifth paper, King and Delfabbro present findings on re- search detailing motivational differences in video game play. Factors that were considered include motivation to play video games, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and total time spent playing. These findings can be used to help video game players determine if their playing behavior points to a problematic level of involvement.
In another article addressing video game playing, Wang and Yang explore the relationships between thrill seeking, perceived risk and aggressive tendencies and how these factors relate to the acceptance of playing violent video games. Behavioral in- tention was also closely studied as well as differences in male and female gaming styles.
Lastly, Fullwood and Wootton examine the possibilities of com- puter-mediated communication (CMC) to help patients deal with emotionally-sensitive issues. To do so, an online support forum produced by the National Society of Epilepsy was used. Key fac- tors, such as anonymity and willingness for disclosure, were studied and used to determine whether CMC meets criteria for offering support to sufferers.
Future issues of JCR will continue to explore the ways in which healthcare, in Europe and worldwide, can benefit from innova- tive applications of technology. I would like to sincerely thank the contributing authors for their inspiring work and dedication to this field of research. I also want to thank JCR’s Associate Ed- itors – Professor Botella, Professor Bouchard, Professor Gam- berini and Professor Riva for their leadership and hard work, as well as our internationally renowned Editorial Board for their contributions. We encourage readers and subscribers to contact us with ideas and manuscripts. Thank you again for your support of JCR. We look forward to providing you with more ways in which technology is contributing to increased quality of life in citizens of the world.
Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCIA
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation
Virtual Reality Medical Institute