Effects of distraction using virtual reality glasses during lumbar punctures in adolescents with cancer.

Suzanne Sander Wint, Debra Eshelman, Jill Steele, Cathie E. Guzzetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of virtual reality (VR) glasses on adolescents with cancer undergoing lumbar punctures (LPs). DESIGN: Pilot study using an experimental, control group design. SETTING: In-hospital oncology clinic. SAMPLE: 30 adolescents with cancer (17 in the VR and 13 in the control group) undergoing frequent LPs. METHODS: Subjects were randomly assigned to groups. Both groups received standard intervention during the LP, but the experimental group also wore VR glasses and watched a video. Following the LP, both groups rated their pain using a visual analog scale (VAS) and were interviewed to evaluate their experience. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Pain, subjective evaluation of experience. FINDINGS: Although VAS pain scores were not statistically different between the two groups (p = 0.77), VAS scores tended to be lower in the VR group (median VAS of 7.0, range 0-48) than in the control group (median VAS of 9.0, range 0-59). 77% of subjects in the experimental group said the VR glasses helped to distract them from the LP. CONCLUSIONS: VR glasses are a feasible, age-appropriate, nonpharmacologic adjunct to conventional care in managing the pain associated with LPs in adolescents. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The clinical application of various age-appropriate distracters to reduce pain in adolescents undergoing painful procedures should be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E8-E15
JournalOncology nursing forum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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