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9/03/2017

Top project: Dream-coach “Virtual Donbas”

virtual-donbas-project

The increase to 80000 in the number of already demobilized military participants of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in 2016 in the eastern Ukraine may leads to increase of the level of aggressive and violent behavior in Ukrainian society. Previous researches identified 50-55% of veterans of up-to-date local wars suffer from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This disorder can cause unreasonable “defensive” aggression, auto aggression and to family problems and violence. In Ukraine this situation is complicated by access to weapons especially for veterans. The cultural characteristics of population of Post-Soviet space is a low motivation and a distrust to the psychological assistance. The absence of aspirations among veterans for diagnostic and treatment of PTSD leads to the fact that 95% of veterans, who need treatment, are left alone. In future they may pose a threat to the safety of civil people, their families and themselves.

The problem of “anti-motivation” for psychotherapy can be solved with the help of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET). The treatment mediates virtual reality. It is seen as an exciting game for the ex-soldier, not as a shameful weakness. Utilization of VRET on one hand increases the motivation to treatment and on the other hand gives a positive results in the long term. It is based on an impact of virtual environment on metacognitive processes in brain structures for the formation of PTSD like hippocampus. The application of e-learning in virtual environment includes the reactivation of dorsal and popliteal area of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and part of social support for readaptation and a possibility of Posttraumatic Growth.
Also the analysis of the research of the last decade indicates the isolated attempts to distinguish the psychophysiological makers of PTSD. The effectiveness of the research requires the summary of data of the possible psychophysiological markers and the allocation of significant parameters for diagnostic of PTSD. Parameters can be implemented by using multi-sensor systems like ReoComStress and NeuroCom Professional which includes all necessary measurements of biological signals.

The analysis of the psychophysiological basis of VRET in the complex of cognitive-behaviorist therapy determined the structure and features of PTSD for ATO veterans` treatment using virtual reality systems. It consists of three phases: diagnostic, psychotherapeutic and post-psychotherapeutic.

The system of virtual diagnostic, treatment and learning “Dream-coach “Virtual Donbas”” is integral system with 3 interconnected elements. There are Biofeedback system, virtual exposition of battlefield of military conflict in the east of Ukraine and e-Learning Application. The system creates the integral approach which is based on the psychophysiological researches of PTSD and related methods of treatment.

The final result is a design of working prototype “Dream-coach “Virtual Donbas”” with strict determination of psychophysiological PTSD markers and realization of virtual exposition for treatment and e-learning. Our study involves discussion of each stage in scientific articles and in conferences for providing new methods, techniques in PTSD diagnostic, treatment and veterans` aggressive and violent behavior prevention.

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