VR to Reduce Pre-Operative Anxiety

2020-02-19 18:28:39 | BioPortfolio


This study aims to test the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) as a non-pharmaceutical intervention to reduce pain and anxiety in children undergoing various procedures in the Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) at CHLA, as measured by self- and proxy-report.


4 million children undergo surgery in the US each year and up to 65% of these children experience significant anxiety and distress before surgery. High anxiety can be traumatic, but it can also lead to postoperative adverse outcomes, such as increased pain and analgesics requirements, delayed hospital discharge, and maladaptive behavioral changes, in children after the surgery. Non-pharmacological intervention, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions, such as virtual reality, has been shown to decrease anxiety and distress in other medical procedures (e.g., burn care, phlebotomy). Yet to date, no clinical trial has been conducted to examine the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) to reduce anxiety and distress prior to outpatient surgeries in the operating room setting.

The current study aims to: 1) Determine if VR is more effective than standard care for preventing anxiety, distress, and pain before surgery among children undergoing anesthesia induction, 2) To evaluate healthcare provider's and caregiver's assessment of patient cooperation and caregiver's distress and satisfaction with VR compared to standard of care, and 3) to explore the influence of patient and caregiver characteristics on the effectiveness of VR in preventing pre-operative anxiety and distress and subsequent post-operative outcomes.

Study Population: Children (age 10 - 21 years) and their parents who are scheduled to undergo outpatient surgery, whose health status is American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status I-III, and are in the normal range of development are eligible to be in the study.

Study Methodology: The study is a randomized, controlled trial designed to examine the effects of VR on the level of preoperative pain, anxiety and distress of children undergoing surgery.

Statistical Analyses: Univariate Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) will be used to compare differences in primary and secondary outcome variables in VR + standard of care to standard of care only conditions when pre and post-operative measures are available. Univariate ANOVA will be used to compare conditions on post-operative variables. Multiple regression analyses will be used to examine the influence of patient and caregiver variables on patient outcomes in the VR group only.

Study Design


Virtual Reality


Oculus Go VR, Mira Prism VR


Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Los Angeles
United States




Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2020-02-19T18:28:39-0500

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