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Virtual Reality as a Distraction Technique in Chronic Pain Patients

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Wiederhold BK1, Gao K, Sulea C, Wiederhold MD.


We explored the use of virtual reality distraction techniques for use as adjunctive therapy to treat chronic pain. Virtual environments were specifically created to provide pleasant and engaging experiences where patients navigated on their own through rich and varied simulated worlds. Real-time physiological monitoring was used as a guide to determine the effectiveness and sustainability of this intervention. Human factors studies showed that virtual navigation is a safe and effective method for use with chronic pain patients. Chronic pain patients demonstrated significant relief in subjective ratings of pain that corresponded to objective measurements in peripheral, noninvasive physiological measures.

Resource: Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2014 Jun;17(6):346-52.