A veteran takes part in the trial.
Mental Health

Veterans Trial Virtual Reality As Treatment For PTSD

The treatment involved 42 former soldiers walking on a treadmill while being shown images of war on a big screen.

A veteran takes part in the trial.

A study has found that virtual reality could help military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

The two-year trial of 3MDR, otherwise known as 'modular motion-assisted Memory desensitisation and reconsolidation', involved 42 former soldiers walking on a treadmill while being shown images of war and death on a big screen.

The exposure to visual images, depicting similar trauma to that previously experienced by the veterans, brought about some positive results.

The treatment was led by the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.

Two-thirds of participants saw an average improvement in their symptoms of 37%.

Research published in 2018 showed a rise in PTSD among serving UK personnel and veterans.

The treatment is based on the premise that literally walking towards the traumatic images helps patients to overcome avoidance and process their memories. 

The next step for the trial is to widen the cohort to include PTSD patients outside of the military.