Virtual Reality in Pediatrics, Effects on Pain and Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Update

Virtual Reality in Pediatrics, Effects on Pain and Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Update

Tas, F. Q. van Eijk, C. A. M. Staals, L. M. Legerstee, J. S. Dierckx, B.
Paediatric Anaesthesia
INTRODUCTION: Medical procedures are often accompanied by pain and anxiety in pediatric patients. A relatively new technique to reduce pediatric pain and anxiety is Virtual Reality (VR). VR is both applied as a distraction tool and as an exposure tool to prepare patients for medical procedures. Research into the application of VR in medical settings is rapidly evolving. This meta-analysis is an update of the meta-analysis of Eijlers et al. investigating the effectiveness of VR as an intervention tool on pain and anxiety in pediatric patients undergoing medical procedures. METHODS: We searched the databases Embase, Medline, Web of Science Core Collection, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and PsycINFO. For each of these databases, different search strategies were developed. The search period from the meta-analysis from Eijlers et al., reaching until April 2018, was extended to December 2020. Pain and anxiety outcomes during medical procedures were compared for VR and standard care conditions for various medical procedures. RESULTS: The search yielded 1824 articles, of which 13 met our inclusion criteria. Combined with 13 articles of Eijlers' review study, this resulted in 26 articles. VR was applied as distraction (n = 23) during medical procedures or as exposure (n = 4) before medical procedures. The effect of VR distraction was mostly studied in patients during venous access (n = 10). The overall weighted standardized mean difference (SMD) for VR distraction was -0.67 (95% CI, -0.89 - -0.45; p < .001) on patient-reported pain (based on 21 studies) and -0.74 (95% CI, -1.00 - -0.48; p < .001) on patient-reported anxiety (based on 10 studies). The effect of VR as an exposure tool on patient-reported anxiety was significant too (SMD = -0.58; 95% CI, -1.15 - -0.01; p < .05) DISCUSSION: The current updated systematic review and meta-analysis indicates that VR is a usefool tool to reduce pain and anxiety in pediatric patients undergoing a range of medical procedures as it significantly decreases pain and anxiety outcomes when compared to care as usual.

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Psykiske vansker og lidelser


Angst og engstelighet (inkl. både vansker og lidelse)

Biologiske risikofaktorer, sykdommer og symptomer

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