Immersive Virtual Reality in Children with Upper Limb Injuries: Findings from a Feasibility Study

PHELAN, Ivan, FURNESS, Penny, DUNN, Heather, CARRION-PLAZA, Alicia, MATSANGIDOU, Maria, DIMITRI, Paul and LINDLEY, shirley (2021). Immersive Virtual Reality in Children with Upper Limb Injuries: Findings from a Feasibility Study. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine.

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    Background Children who sustain Upper Limb Injuries (ULIs), including fractures and burns, undergo intensive rehabilitation. The discomfort of therapy can reduce children's compliance, limit their range of motion (ROM) and lead to chronic pain. Virtual Reality (VR) interventions have been found to reduce anticipated and procedural pain. Purpose This feasibility study aimed to explore perceptions and impacts of a bespoke, fully immersive Head-Mounted Display VR (HMD-VR) experience within a United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service (NHS) outpatient rehabilitation service for children with ULIs. Methods Ten children aged 9-16 in one UK Children's hospital trialled HMD-VR during one rehabilitation session. The children, their parents (n=10); and hospital physiotherapy staff (n=2) were interviewed about their perceptions of pain, difficulty, enjoyability, therapeutic impacts, benefits and limitations. Children rated the session’s enjoyability, difficulty and pain, compared with usual rehabilitation exercises, and physiotherapists were asked to provide goniometer data. Results Inductive thematic analysis of interview data generated three themes, ‘Escape through Engagement’; ‘Enhanced Movement’; and ‘Adaptability and Practicality’. Children rated the session as more enjoyable and less difficult and painful than their usual rehabilitation exercises. Findings suggested that HMD-VR was an engaging, enjoyable experience which distracted children from the pain and boredom of therapy and seemed to enhance the movement they achieved. Participants perceived it was useful for rehabilitation, adaptable to individual need and for other patient groups. Suggestions were made to increase adaptability and build-in practical safeguards. Conclusions Findings from this small-scale feasibility study suggested HMD-VR was perceived as usable, acceptable and effective, with potential for further development. Future work could include larger scale trials.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2021 12:32
    Last Modified: 29 Mar 2021 14:00

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