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"Longer procedure times associated with VR use during venipunctures (4-6 minutes on average) may be attributed to pauses to troubleshoot VR games not tailored for medical procedures" Canares et al (2021).

Virtual reality during venipuncture

Abstract:

Objectives: Virtual reality (VR) therapy is growing in use and popularity during pediatric medical procedures. Currently, data that describe the hospital resources used during pediatric procedures with off-the-shelf VR games that are not tailored to medical procedures are lacking. In this study, we aimed to characterize procedural resources associated with VR use during venipuncture in a pediatric emergency department.

Methods: This was a secondary analysis of a 2-arm randomized, controlled pilot trial with an external group. Resource use was evaluated in 3 groups: child life (CL)-supported VR engagement, CL support without VR, and a reference group that received no intervention (ie, no CL and no VR).

Results: The study sample (N = 55) included the following: 15 patients randomly assigned to VR, 20 patients randomly assigned to CL, and 20 patients in the reference group. There was a significant difference in procedure duration, with the VR group exhibiting the longest duration compared with the CL and reference groups (P = .01).

Conclusions: Longer procedure times associated with VR use during venipunctures (4-6 minutes on average) may be attributed to pauses to troubleshoot VR games not tailored for medical procedures. Although they are inexpensive and accessible, nontailored VR games may warrant the need for dedicated staff to provide restraint and/or assistance to navigate the VR application. In this study, we offer a protocol on the application of nontailored VR games for pediatric procedures. For those considering a VR program in an inpatient setting, the benefits of pain/anxiety reduction must be weighed against the resources needed, including device costs, staff availability, and increased procedure duration.

Reference:

Canares TL, Parrish C, Santos C, Badawi A, Stewart A, Kleinman K, Psoter KJ, McGuire JF. Resource Use During Pediatric Venipuncture With Virtual Reality: Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial. Hosp Pediatr. 2021 Jun 14:hpeds.2020-003822. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2020-003822. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34127486.