Virtual reality can help children cope with medical procedures

These games can be appealing and be a “practical” option for treatments when a distraction may be needed.

A new study shows that virtual reality games can be beneficial in helping children cope with medical procedures. While the ultimate goal would be for all children to be happy and in perfect health, there are children around the world who struggle with illness and disease. The least the medical world can offer them are resources and treatments that are the easiest to get. That’s why it’s so important to continue studies on how to help these children. The more the medical world knows, the more resources they can draw.

According to Medical Xpress, a new study suggests that virtual reality games may allow children to cope better with painful medical procedures. Video games have always been a means of escape and it seems that they can be used to offer some calm to children in these situations.


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The recent study was conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine the researchers and their new full version can be read here. The study shows that games made through virtual reality can be beneficial if they are appropriate and carefully selected for pediatric use. These games can be appealing and be a “practical” option for treatments when a distraction may be needed.

Therese Canares, MD, was the leader of the study and they used a small study group to come to their conclusion. The study lasted from June 2019 to March 2020 and involved 55 randomly selected patients ranging from 7 years to 22 years. They separate patients into three groups. One group had the help of virtual reality and a child life specialist, one group only had the assistance of a child life specialist and one group had nothing. All underwent venous puncture procedures.

The study found that children who were part of the virtual reality group had reduced pain and anxiety throughout the procedure. The group that had both virtual reality and a child life specialist got the best results; however, their procedure took longer than the other two groups.

Researchers suggest the reason for this is because staff have to pause the game to fix a problem, but they don’t worry about the extra minutes because the benefit of less pain and anxiety was considered a trade. just. They said more work will be done to determine what types of games are best to make sure they can give a proper recommendation to medical providers.

READ NEXT: 9 ways to make a child smile in the hospital

Sources: Medical Xpress, Johns Hopkins Medicine

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