The paper “ Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Diseased Vietnam Veterans by Rothbaum, et al" is a dramatic version of an article on psychology. The purpose of the article is to share the results of a completed study which assessed the effectiveness of virtual reality exposure (VRE) therapy on patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disease or PTSD. The researchers invited one Vietnam war veteran to participate in 14 sessions lasting for 7 weeks, exposing him to virtual environments, both untriggered and triggered by the participant’ s memories. The results revealed that the participant responded better to the VRE treatment than the group based treatment he had completed prior to joining the study.
The authors concluded that VRE treatment could prove to be a very effective way to treat PTSD for veterans. They proposed that the treatment should be a part of a comprehensive treatment program. This article has three strengths. It talks about two things which will appeal to society as a whole: virtual reality and post-traumatic stress disorder. Virtual reality is a common aspect of today’ s world due to the presence of computer technology while PTSD is one of the big health issues in the field of medicine.
The first author of the article is another of its strengths. Dr. Barbara Rothbaum is a psychologist and has been recognized as an advocate of using virtual reality as a medical treatment. The third strength of the article is its simplicity. Although its intended audience would appreciate the medical jargon found in the article, the language was still sufficient for laymen to comprehend the significance of the study. As such, the information was imparted to a larger audience.
This article still had weaknesses, however, such as the lack of visual representation. An image of the VRE the participant was immersed in would aid in readers’ comprehension. Another weakness is how the writers combined the conclusion, recommendation, and limitation of the study under the discussion heading. The article is the pilot study in this kind of intervention. People skimming the article would benefit from having this information separated from one another. Lastly, the layout of the article needs to be improved. The current layout has given me a headache because I have to read left to right but the words move up or down when I move to the next part I have not read.
In my opinion, the experiment would have been better with more than one participant. This way, the researchers would surely know if VRE really works and money that would be spent on a similar study but with more veterans could be used on a different study. Another improvement as mentioned earlier would be to include photos of the VRE the participant saw so readers could appreciate the concept that immersion for veterans in such environment is beneficial.
Finally, as also mentioned earlier, the article would be aesthetically pleasing and not a strain on the reader’ s eyes if there were two columns than just one long column. This way the audience reads the article in a consistent manner; that is, from left to right.