Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immersion In Virtual World Alleviates Pain From Injury

Date:
March 16, 2005
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Virtual reality games can help alleviate pain in children being treated for severe injuries, according to research published today in the Open Access, peer reviewed journal BMC Pediatrics.

Virtual reality games can help alleviate pain in children being treated for severe injuries, according to research published today in the Open Access, peer reviewed journal BMC Pediatrics.

Immersion in a virtual world of monsters and aliens helps children feel less pain during the treatment of severe injuries such as burns, according to a preliminary study by Karen Grimmer and colleagues from the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide, Australia.

A virtual reality game is a computer game especially designed to completely immerse the user in a simulated environment. Unlike other computer games, the game is played wearing a special headset with two small computer screens and a special sensor, which allows the player to interact with the game and feel a part of its almost dreamlike world. "Owing to its ability to allow the user to immerse and interact with the artificial environment that he/she can visualize, the game-playing experience is engrossing", explain the authors.

Children with severe burns suffer great pain and emotional trauma, especially during the cleaning and dressing of their wounds. They are usually given strong painkiller drugs, muscle relaxants or sedatives, but these are often not enough to completely alleviate pain and anxiety. These medications also have side effects such as drowsiness, nausea or lack of energy.

Grimmer and colleagues asked seven children, aged five to eighteen, to play a virtual reality game while their dressing was being changed. The children were also given the usual amount of painkillers. The researchers assessed the pain the children felt when they were playing and then compared it to the amount of pain felt when painkillers were used alone.

To measure the intensity of the pain, the team used the Faces Scale, which attributes a score from 0 to 10, wherein 10 represents maximum pain, to a facial manifestation of pain. For younger children they used 5 different faces representing no pain to very bad pain. The researchers also interviewed the nurses and parents present during the dressing change.

The average pain score when the children received painkillers alone was 4.1/10. It decreased to 1.3/10 when the children had played a game and been given painkillers. Because the sample size was so small the researchers analysed their results per child, and they found that all but one child lost at least 2 points on the scale when they were playing the game. The parents and nurses confirmed these results and said that the children clearly showed less signs of pain when they played the game.

"We found that virtual reality coupled with analgesics was significantly more effective in reducing pain responses in children than analgesic only" conclude the authors.

This is only a preliminary study, but the researchers are hopeful. They propose to test virtual reality on more subjects, possibly with games appropriate to each age group, in the hope that it could one day greatly reduce, if not completely replace, the use of painkillers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Immersion In Virtual World Alleviates Pain From Injury." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309120803.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2005, March 16). Immersion In Virtual World Alleviates Pain From Injury. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309120803.htm
BioMed Central. "Immersion In Virtual World Alleviates Pain From Injury." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309120803.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins