Virtual reality comes to hospitals to soften pain and anxiety

Virtual reality comes to hospitals to soften pain and anxiety


Softening pain and anxiety through virtual reality is a fact in Spain. Patients from the Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital and the Infanta Elena (Valdemoro), Rey Juan Carlos (Móstoles) and Villalba General Hospital hospitals, all managed by Quirónsalud, can now benefit from virtual reality in order to cope with frequent visits to Hospital centres after specific diagnoses that require constant healthcare.

They can evade reality, despite being present in hospitals to which they must go for treatments, tests and medical checks. Patients with hematologic or pediatric diseases, the smallest, can fight better against pain and anxiety thanks to this type of technology.

Specially, the oncohematological ones manage to improve their mood during their treatment in the Day Hospital or the Dialysis Unit by generating a sensation of “distraction” and “relaxation”. In the case of children, the use of this virtual reality reduces the perception of pain and anxiety and induces a state of relaxation during the performance of invasive techniques or treatments, while promoting greater tranquillity in the family.

How can you access this virtual reality?

Patients can access different options, according to their ages and preferences. For example, one of the possibilities is to visit an unknown country, make an expedition through African lands, and enjoy environments of relaxation or a trip through space. To enjoy this activity, it is enough to request the virtual reality glasses from the responsible nurse at the Day, Dialysis, Pediatric Services -Urgencies, Day Hospital and extractions- or during diagnostic tests.

This initiative to humanize health care also has repercussions not only on patient benefits, which translate into more calm, greater relaxation during treatment or invasive technique, different perception of time and less perception of pain, but also It is a great satisfaction for medical professionals knowing that the patient improves their knowledge of both parameters.

Project ‘ViVo: Travel, Fly’

Additionally, this technology has also been incorporated for Palliative Care patients in the four hospitals mentioned, in this case by specific indication of the team doctor or psychologist, in the project ‘ViVo: Viajar, Volar’.

As Dr María Herrera, head of the Palliative Care Service of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation explains, “these are very delicate patients for whom this new technique supposes a higher level of distraction in the face of a painful, physical and emotional process. , thus facilitating a state of inner quietness and relaxation, and also trying to decrease part of the anxiolytic medication “.

This parallel application of the virtual reality project, adds the specialist, “is based on the theory of achieving a state of relaxation through the visualization of spaces and people that favour the defocusing of palliative patient care of their clinical process. “

He also detailed that the patient can relax, “guided by their therapist, helping them to connect with pleasurable sensations through the use of virtual reality glasses, with the possibility of performing distracting activities through visual stimuli, without the need to perform physical movements. Complicated or painful, enjoying personalized virtual trips. “