Virtual eCoaching and Storytelling technology for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment (VESP)


Problem: An estimated 1.2 million Dutch people experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who often persistently re-experience the painful event, such as war, rape, assault, traffic accident. Treatment of PTSD is relatively expensive and many patients either drop-out or do not respond to the treatment.

Solution: Key to the treatment is controlled exposure to these painful memories. VESP will provide the required personalized and integrated support for controlled exposure by combining game-based storytelling technology that is meaningful for the patient with a personal electronic coach that is tailored to the therapeutic protocol.

Research: The project has three ambitious but achievable research challenges: (1) establishing the method and semantics that enable patients to easily re-create an experience via a virtual environment for therapeutic purposes; (2) establishing a virtual coach which assists in the execution of treatment, psycho-education, and treatment adherence; (3) evaluating the efficacy of the standalone and internet-based guided self-therapy approach as compared to treatment as usual. In contrast to the current generic scenes for in the clinic, VESP provides a novel combined approach in which (1) patients control virtual environments at the level of semantics and enrich it with a variety of modalities such as text, photos, videos, and maps to reconstruct their autobiographic memories, (2) the virtual coach supervises patients' personal experiences for guidance of their cognitive and affective processes, and (3) a sound empirical foundation will be provided via Randomized Controlled Trials. The project team has the required complementary expertise and methods to conduct this innovative multi-disciplinary research.



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Dr. ir. W.P. Brinkman

Verbonden aan

Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculteit Elektrotechniek, Wiskunde en Informatica, Intelligent Systems


Dr. J.T. Balint, Mr. F. Khan, Drs. B. Kybartas, Drs. M. van Meggelen, Drs. M.L. Tielman


01/09/2013 tot 22/12/2018