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Effectiveness of Virtual Reality for Pediatric Pain and Anxiety Management during Skin Prick Testing

DOI: 10.4236/ojmp.2022.113007, PP. 89-102

Keywords: Pain, Anxiety, Virtual Reality, Children, Skin Prick Testing

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This study investigated the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) distraction, compared to comic book distraction and no distraction, in reducing pain and anxiety during a medical procedure in a pediatric population: the skin prick test. Although this test has many advantages and is considered to be minimally invasive, it causes anxiety and painful discomfort in children. Ninety-two children aged 7 to 17 years consulting for an allergic test received VR distraction, comic book distraction, or no distraction. Outcome measures included pain score, level of anxiety, and VR measures. The results showed that there were no significant differences between the three groups regarding sex, age, and preprocedural anxiety level. In the distraction groups (VR and comic book), children reported significantly lower pain and procedural anxiety scores than children with no distraction; VR distraction had a more significant effect than comic book distraction. A decrease in anxiety before and during the skin prick test is significantly more significant in VR distraction. This study suggested the effectiveness and feasibility of VR to reduce pain and anxiety during the pediatric skin prick test.


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