Pain management is one of the most important areas, especially when it comes to patients with chronic conditions. Virtual and augmented reality (VAR) can help nursing professionals in addressing various issues associated with the provision of care to patients who are in pain (Ferguson, Davidson, Scott, Jackson, & Hickman, 2015). The use of VAR in the clinical setting is still under-researched, but many scholars report positive outcomes of this kind of technology utilization.
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At the same time, Garrett et al. (2014) note that there is moderate evidence for the effectiveness of VAR programs aimed at reducing pain. The use of VAR can also have limited positive effects on older patients’ pain management due to this population’s attitude towards technology. The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of a VAR-based intervention aimed at reducing pain when treating older patients with chronic conditions.
A mixed method design will be utilized as it is essential to identify specific health outcomes as well as older adults’ attitudes towards the technology-based intervention. Jeffs et al. (2014) explored the effects of VAR on adolescents with acute pain, but the modified framework of their study can be utilized for the present research. The participants will be divided into three groups. One group will receive care with standard pain management techniques; the second group will watch an age-appropriate movie.
The third group will have VAR-based experience. Participants will complete pre-and post-intervention pain-assessment questionnaires. Furthermore, the experiment group will also share their views on the intervention by completing short questionnaires. These participants will also take part in a focus group discussion that will aim at eliciting their perspectives on the intervention and their experiences.
Ferguson, C., Davidson, P.M, Scott, P.J., Jackson, D., & Hickman, L.D. (2015). Augmented reality, virtual reality and gaming: An integral part of nursing. Contemporary Nurse, 51(1), 1-4.
Garrett, B., Taverner, T., Masinde, W., Gromala, D., Shaw, C., & Negraeff, M. (2014). A rapid evidence assessment of immersive virtual reality as an adjunct therapy in acute pain management in clinical practice. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 30(12), 1089-1098.
Jeffs, D., Dorman, D., Brown, S., Files, A., Graves, T., & Kirk, E., … Swearingen, C. J. (2014). Effect of virtual reality on adolescent pain during burn wound care. Journal of Burn Care & Research, 35(5), 395-408.