Women with breast cancer have fewer adverse effects from chemotherapy and less fatigue when using virtual reality as a distraction intervention during treatments, according to a study from the Duke University School of Nursing and Case Western Reserve Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In the study, published in the January 2004 issue of Oncology Nursing Forum, the researchers described how chemotherapy patients eased their fatigue and discomfort by solving a mystery, touring an art gallery or going deep-sea diving in a virtual environment as they underwent treatment.
Virtual reality enables people to immerse themselves in a computer-generated visual and aural environment by wearing a head-mounted display device. The researchers believe that virtual reality makes for an excellent distraction intervention because it is interactive, engages several senses simultaneously and immerses participants in a new world, thereby blocking out their current and often stressful environment.
Amy Austell | dukemed news
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