Scientific evidence for the effectiveness of virtual reality for pain reduction in adults with acute or chronic pain

Shahnaz Shahrbanian, M. A. Xiaoli, Nicol Korner-Bitensky, Maureen J. Simmonds

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this systematic review was to determine the level of scientific evidence for the effectiveness of VR for pain management in adults with pain. A comprehensive systematic search involving major health care databases was undertaken to identify randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and descriptive studies. Twenty-seven studies were identified that fulfilled the inclusion criteria. There was strong (Level 1a) evidence of a greater benefit from immersive VR and limited evidence (Level 2a) for the effectiveness of non-immersive VR in reducing acute pain. Moreover, there is limited evidence (Level 2a) of effectiveness of immersive VR compared to no VR for reducing chronic pain. There is currently no published study that has explored the effectiveness of non-immersive VR for chronic pain (level 5). It is concluded that VR can be recommended as a standard or adjunct clinical intervention for pain management at least in the management of acute pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2009 - Advanced Technologies in the Behavioral, Social and Neurosciences
PublisherIOS Press
Pages40-43
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781607500179
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Volume144
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365

Keywords

  • Pain
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Systematic review
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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