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Virtual reality reduces anxiety and pain in acute hospital palliative care: service evaluation.

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

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Authors

Sillence, Alison 
Teape, Lynda 
Clark, Ben 
Bruce, Emma 

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Virtual reality (VR) might improve symptom management, but there is limited evidence regarding VR in palliative care. We evaluated the feasibility of VR and impact on anxiety and pain for patients in a hospital palliative care consultation service. METHODS: Patients referred to a hospital specialist palliative care team, with anxiety or pain, were offered a VR intervention (a short audiovisual experience). Participants rated anxiety and pain on a 0-10 Likert severity scale pre intervention/post intervention and completed an evaluation form. Change in symptom scores was analysed by parametric statistics. RESULTS: 28 participants used VR a total of 42 times with no adverse events. Mean pain score reduced by 29% from 4.10 (SD=2.71) pre intervention to 2.93 (SD=2.45) post intervention (t(27)=5.150, p<0.001). Mean anxiety scores reduced by 40% from 4.43 (SD=2.56) to 2.65 (SD=2.24) (t(27)=5.058, p<0.001). Patients rated the experience on average 4.75/5 and all would recommend use to a friend. VR was described as absorbing and relaxing. CONCLUSION: VR may improve anxiety and pain and was acceptable in this setting. Large-scale evaluation will generate important data on feasibility and implementation.

Description

Keywords

Complementary therapy, Pain, Psychological care, Service evaluation

Journal Title

BMJ Support Palliat Care

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2045-435X
2045-4368

Volume Title

Publisher

BMJ