Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virtual realities against pain

21.07.2006
The feeling of pain produced during medical treatment can be reduced through sophisticated virtual reality helmets, a simple computer game and the determined predisposition of the patient. According to research psychologists at the UAB, this type of distraction even reduces the dosage of sedatives. Their research suggests putting greater emphasis on methodology and on psychological aspects of this technique in order to improve its property.

For over a decade, the technique of distraction has been researched and successfully applied in clinical practice in order to reduce pain associated with certain medical procedures. The use of distraction is based on the assumption that there is an important psychological element in the perception of pain, with the amount of attention given to the harmful stimulus affecting the perception of the pain.

Distraction techniques are based on the patient's limited capacity for attention, resulting in a reduction in the patient's attention to the stimulus and therefore a reduction in the stimulus itself. It was assumed that the ideal distractor would require an optimum amount of attention involving various senses (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic), an active emotional involvement, and participation from the patient to compete with the signals of the harmful stimuli.

The advanced distraction techniques (ADTs) recently developed use 3D images combined with dynamic audio stimuli, making the techniques more likely to meet the requirements of an ideal distractor than the traditional distraction methods such as watching a film or playing a simple computer game.

The ADTs simulate real-life situations, and the possibilities are infinite. For example, until now users could choose between taking a flight, driving, downhill skiing, exploring buildings and many more activities.

In this study, peer-reviewed publications on ADTs and pain have been reviewed to determine the clinical effectiveness and importance of using these techniques as analgesic. The results suggest that the ADTs can significantly reduce the pain associated with medical treatment. The use of analgesic was clinically revealing in most cases, especially in patients with very high or unbearable levels of pain. It was found that levels of anxiety were reduced during the exposure, and the side effects, such as “simulator sickness”, were hardly observed at all.

Although some studies continue to focus mainly on the technological aspects and the effectiveness of ADTs, greater consideration is being given to psychological aspects. Several personality traits (such as absorption and dissociation) have been identified as important factors for determining the level of involvement of the users, possibly modulating the effectiveness of technological progress. For example, some patients perceive a reduction in their visual field (due to the video helmet) and a loss of awareness of the activities of the medical practitioner, as well as a loss of control, leading to an increase in anxiety and pain; other patients see it as positive that they cannot see and perceive what the medical practitioner is doing.

We can conclude that ADTs are very useful as analgesic, and can reduce the amount of analgesic administered. This new field of study can begin to move forward beyond its current initial phase by placing more emphasis on methodology and psychological aspects.

Octavi López Coronado | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uab.es

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>