Designing effective virtual reality environments for pain management in burn-injured patients

PHELAN, Ivan, FURNESS, Penny, MATSANGIDOU, Maria, BABIKER, Nathan, FEHILY, Orla, THOMPSON, Andrew, CARRION-PLAZA, Alicia and LINDLEY, Shirley (2021). Designing effective virtual reality environments for pain management in burn-injured patients. Virtual Reality.

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Burn patients engage in repetitive painful therapeutic treatments, such as wound debridement, dressing changes, and other medical processes high in procedural pain. Pharmacological analgesics have been used for managing pain, but with ineffective results and negative side effects. Studies on pain management for burn patients suggested that Virtual Reality can treat procedural pain. This paper describes the process of designing, testing, and deploying a Virtual Reality system into a hospital setting. Firstly, a workshop was conducted to identify the most suitable types of Virtual Reality contents for the needs of burn-injured patients. Then, an experimental study, with 15 healthy adults, explored the analgesic impact of the Virtual Reality contents. The pain was induced through a cold pressor. Finally, we deployed the Virtual Reality system into the hospital to examine its efficiency on burn-injured inpatients. This study presents factors for the effective design and deployment of Virtual Reality for burn-injured patients residing in a hospital. Those factors refer to the use of cartoonish features and a choice of content based on each patient’s interests to increase the positive emotions and the use of interactive features, portable equipment to reduce pain and increase the feasibility of the technology in clinical settings. Finally, our results indicated that the extension of the VR use after the therapeutic session could support more effective pain treatment.

Item Type: Article
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2021 14:08
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2021 14:15

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