“Our assessment demonstrates that VR is an effective non- pharmacological adjunct or alternative modality for improving pain management and reducing anxiety in Veteran populations across various age ranges, and levels of acuity and chronicity. This assessment also found VR to be a beneficial distraction from pain, a pleasurable experience, and one that opens the door to utilization of other non-pharmacological modalities. VR as an adjunct or alternative modality has the potential to offer a clinically efficacious, noninvasive intervention for pain management and anxiety with few to no side effects.”
Virtual Reality, by its immersive nature, engages, some might say tricks, our senses in a way that may make it a shortcut to the brain.
Not long after virtual reality was first conceived, people wondered if it could act as a buffer to reality where reality was less than ideal. When reality was pain, anxiety, fear or limitations, could occupying the senses in a virtual world speed recovery, provide relief from pain and prevent stress and anxiety, which are largely mental rather than physical ailments?
The answer, it was discovered quite quickly, was yes, it could.
“On their end, it looks like they’re popping balloons or chasing dragons. On the clinician’s end, they can access via the clinician portal all of the range-of-motion data related to that person’s interaction with the virtual environment.”
“Nurses say the training needed for both healthcare providers and patients to use VR is minimal.”
“The opportunities are limitless for extended reality to assess, monitor and help manage numerous diseases; reduce the use of risky medications like opioids and sedatives; and really improve the quality of life for thousands of Veterans.”
With over 20 years of clinical research, VR has repeatedly demonstrated to be a safe and effective tool for multiple scenarios.