Virtual Reality as an Adjunct Home Therapy in Chronic Pain Management: An Exploratory Study

Dr. Bernie Garrett, Dr. Tarnia Taverner, and Mr. Paul McDade have recently published an article for the case series that was conducted to explore VR as an adjunctive home therapy for chronic pain management.

Ten chronic pain patients received VR therapy for 30 min on alternate days for 1 month. Pre- and post-exposure (immediately afterwards, 3 h, and at 24 h) pain assessment was recorded using the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), and weekly using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and Self-completed Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs pain scale (S-LANSS). Terminal semistructured personal interviews with the patients were also undertaken.

Of the 8 patients who completed the study, 5 of them reported that pain was reduced during the VR experience but no overall treatment difference in pain scores post-exposure was observed. VR was not associated with any serious adverse events, although 60% of patients reported some cybersickness during some of the experiences.

Of note is that the majority of these study participants reported a reduction in pain while using the VR but with highly individualized responses. One patient also reported some short-term improved mobility following VR use. Some evidence was found for the short-term efficacy of VR in chronic pain but no evidence for persistent benefits.

For the full article, please visit: http://medinform.jmir.org/2017/2/e11/

Happy reading!

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