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Introduction: Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging tool for anxiety and fear reduction in pediatric patients. VR use is facilitated by Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) at pediatric hospitals. The primary aim of this study was to retrospectively review the safety of VR by analyzing adverse events after the utilization of VR under CCLS supervision. Secondary objectives were to characterize the efficacy of VR in enhancing patient cooperation, describe the integration of VR into Child Life services, and identify interventions that accompanied VR.Methods: The Stanford Chariot Program developed VR applications, customized VR interfaces, and patient head straps, and distributed these to CCLS. Chart review analyzed VR utilization through CCLS patient notes. Inclusion criteria were all patients ages 6 to 18-years-old who received a Child Life intervention.Results: From June 2017 to July 2018, 31 CCLS saw 8,098 patients, 3,696 of which met age criteria with pre- and post-intervention cooperation data. Two hundred thirteen patients received VR with an accompanying intervention, while 34 patients received only VR. Adverse events were rare, and included increased anxiety (3.8%, n=8), dizziness (0.5%, n=1), and nausea (0.5%, n=1). Patients were more likely to be cooperative after receiving VR (99.5%, n=212) compared to pre-intervention (96.7%, n=206, p=0.041). VR use was most common in the perioperative setting (60%, n=128), followed by outpatient clinics (15%, n=32).Conclusion: VR is safe in pediatric patients with appropriate hardware, software, and patient selection. Side effects were rare and self-limited. VR appears to be associated with improvements in cooperation.
View details for DOI 10.1097/pq9.0000000000000293
View details for PubMedID 32426648