University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Online exposure treatment for spider fear: the effects of moving versus static images on treatment adherence, fear elicitation and habituation

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 14:40 authored by Allison MatthewsAllison Matthews, Joel ScanlanJoel Scanlan, Kenneth KirkbyKenneth Kirkby
This research aimed to examine the effects of moving (videos) versus static (pic~ tures) images on habituation and progression in a hierarchy during online symbolic exposure (OSE) for spider fear. Participants were 351 people with high spider fear who logged on to an OSE website ( for self~help purposes. The inclusion of moving images in the exposure hierarchy increased adherence rates relative to static images, particularly among those with lower relative to higher spider fear. Those who viewed moving images at Stage 2 showed higher Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS) ratings overall, but a similar pattern of habitua~ tion relative to those who viewed static images. In addition, 71 % of participants completed at least one stage of the OSE program, representing an improvement from 30% adherence in previous research that used an earlier version of the pro~ gram. These findings support the development of tailored exposure hierarchies to maximise adherence and treatment benefit for individual participants.


Publication title

Behaviour Change








Tasmanian School of Medicine


Cambridge University Press

Place of publication

Shaftesbury Rd, Cambridge, CB2 8RU, UK

Rights statement

Copyright 2012 The Authors

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health

Usage metrics