16 January, 2023

Guidance published on virtual reality intervention for pain management

Health Technology Wales has published guidance on the use of virtual reality (VR) distraction therapy for the management of pain during medical procedures.

VR is a computer-generated simulation of an environment which can be displayed through a headset or glasses.

The technology has been already used by healthcare professionals to treat phobias and anxiety disorders.

HTW looked for evidence that it can be used to manage pain during medical procedures.

Medical procedures that may require pain management include wound care, physical therapy for burns, dental treatment, chemotherapy and during labour.

The HTW guidance states that while the evidence partially supports the adoption of virtual reality interventions for the management of pain and anxiety during medical procedures, it is insufficient to support routine adoption of VR in Wales. To read the guidance in full, click here.