Author Archives: cjsun

Presentation – VR for Pain and Health Applications

Back in November, 2017, Dr. Bernie Garrett gave a presentation at the Uniquely UBC: Good for You Games event. Participants were also able to test out the VR environments the research team has prepared for the event.

For more information about this event, including a podcast, slides, and photos, click here:

Happy New Year!

Apple to Support VR/AR

MacOS users can expect VR support on Mac soon!

Tech giant Apple has announced that it will be supporting external graphics hardware in the next version of MacOS. Not only so, Apple is launching ARkit, a tool to help third party developers to develop AR apps for the iOS.

For more information, and for the full article, visit:

VR Shows Promise for Chronic Pain

Dr. Kim Bullock, a neuropsychiatrist at Stanford University, says she made the remarkable discovery by accident. While studying virtual reality for conditions like severe anxiety, a welcome side benefit of that treatment: patients’ chronic pain disappeared.

Watch the video here:

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:

Happy reading!

Dr. Taverner discusses our VR Cancer Chronic pain project in the Delta Optimist

Could virtual reality be a breakthrough treatment to help ease the suffering of chronic pain in cancer patients? That’s one of the questions a pair of UBC professors from South Delta is hoping to answer.

Our study is recruiting cancer patients who also suffer from chronic pain and meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Age 16 or older
  • Previous or current medical diagnosis of cancer
  • Previous or current treatment by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal treatment, or surgery
  • Currently an outpatient (not hospitalized)
  • Chronic pain sufferer (suffering ongoing daily pain for 3 months or more with a Neuropathic Rating Pain Scale score of 4 or more)
  • Able to understand the English language, and read and write English
  • Have normal stereoscopic (binocular) vision
  • Able to easily move your head up, down, left and right and wear a headset
  • Have fine motor control in one hand sufficient to operate a joystick/control
  • Have space at home for a computer and monitor equipment

For more info and for the news article please visit:

Immersive Multimedia for Cancer Pain Recruiting Participants

Immersive multimedia experience for cancer patients with chronic pain is now recruiting patients for a clinical trial set to start in July, 2017.

Immersive multimedia experiences have been shown to benefit individuals from  a range of clinical settings such as in patients experiencing acute pain. These experiences may also help reduce chronic pain by changing the pain modulation system within the central nervous system and altering pain signal pathways. We are exploring if these technologies can help cancer survivors who are experiencing chronic pain.

We wish to recruit cancer patients to test the use of an immersive multimedia experience in their own homes. The equipment and training will be provided.

For eligibility criteria, and more information about this study, please contact Crystal Sun (Project Manager).

Phone: 604-822-7679


See: Recruitment Poster