The mere thought of undergoing an invasive bedside procedure such as intravenous placement can have profound effects on pediatric oncology patients. If the outcome produces a negative experience for these patients, they will be apprehensive when encountering healthcare professionals during subsequent procedures and might inadvertently cause future procedures to be repeated due to preconceived fears. Currently, conventional methods to treat pain and anxiety in this patient population consist of premedicating patients with analgesia and anxiolytics. Most pediatric hospitals offer these traditional options to patients while there is a safer, noninvasive, feasible, and pleasant option that exists for patients to receive instead. Additionally, traditional medications can produce unexpected side effects that can last longer than expected and would require further medications to combat these side effects.
Evidence shows that virtual reality, or VR for short, offers patients significant benefits while reducing their pain and anxiety levels. VR combines the use of computer software with a head-mounted device, or HMD, to immerse the patient in the virtual world with the objectives of decreasing their awareness of the present environment, reducing pain and anxiety levels, and offering a pleasant and enjoyable experience for the user. The equipment can be reused after being thoroughly disinfected, making it an extremely feasible option. The following PICOT question will be evaluated:In pediatric oncology patients undergoing invasive bedside medical procedures (P), how effective is the use of virtual reality distraction (I) compared to routine care (C) in reducing pain and anxiety (O) before and during the procedure over the course of three months (T)? Several evaluation tools will be used to measure the efficacy of this intervention and scorecard metrics will be analyzed. By offering patients and their caregivers this viable option, patient outcomes will be improved, which will increase satisfaction among patients and caregivers alike. Therefore, the utilization of VR is indicated and recommended for practice as it is a safer alternative to pain medications and anxiolytics for pediatric oncology patients who undergo invasive bedside procedures.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project (Local Access)
Master of Science in Nursing
Shah, Rahil, "Virtual Reality in Pediatric Oncology" (2020). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 36.