Virtual reality games reduce pain during burn care treatments
Several recent studies have shown that allowing patients to play virtual reality games (VR) during burn treatments reduces pain significantly.
Burn patients often have to undergo very painful treatment for their injuries, including debridement and dressing changes. Several recent studies have confirmed that allowing patients to play VR, such as Snow World, a game specifically designed for pain management treatment, can significantly decrease pain intensity levels.
In research published in the journal Burns, nurses found a significant reduction in pain scores and pain medication needed for those playing VR compared to the control group, who were not.
'Burn patients report 35-50% reductions in procedural pain while in a distracting immersive virtual reality, and fMRI brain scans show associated reductions in pain-related brain activity during VR,' it was reported in an article in the Annals of Behavioural Science. 'VR distraction appears to be most effective for patients with the highest pain intensity levels. VR is thought to reduce pain by directing patients' attention into the virtual world, leaving less attention available to process incoming neural signals from pain receptors.'
Image: VR Goggles. Credit: Bytemarks on Flickr.