Fear Reactivity to Head-Mounted Display Perceptual Illusion Challenges is Associated With Suicidality
Suicide remains a public health concern with suicide rates showing a consistent increase over the last 20 years. Recent studies have found a relationship between anxiety sensitivity (i.e., the fear of anxiety related symptoms) and suicidality. Specifically, a relationship has been found between anxiety sensitivity cognitive concerns (ASCC) and suicidality. The knowledge around this relationship, however, has relied mostly on self-report measures. This study seeks to expand on the current literature by exploring the association between ASCC and suicidality, through the use of head-mounted display perceptual illusion challenges (e.g., using tactile sensations and mannequins to create illusions that the participant has switched bodies). A head-mounted display was used to elicit symptoms (e.g., depersonalization, derealization) related to ASCC in a sample of undergraduate students (N = 54). Suicidality and depression were measured by the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms-2 (IDAS-II), anxiety sensitivity cognitive concerns by the Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3 (ASI-3), and distress by the Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS). Findings indicated that suicidality was associated with self-reported ASCC as well as the fear generated from the challenges. Furthermore, our results found that challenge-induced fear predicted suicidality scores above and beyond the traditional self-report measures of ASCC. The small sample size and low suicide risk of the current sample limits generalizations to more severe populations.
Bauer, B. W.,
Albanese, B. J.,
Martin, R. L.,
Smith, N. S.,
Schmidt, N. B.,
Capron, D. W.
(2018). Fear Reactivity to Head-Mounted Display Perceptual Illusion Challenges is Associated With Suicidality. Psychiatry Research.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/15751