Journal Article

Effects of Videogame Distraction and a Virtual Reality Type Head-Mounted Display Helmet on Cold Pressor Pain in Young Elementary School-Aged Children

Lynnda M. Dahlquist, Karen E. Weiss, Emily F. Law, Soumitri Sil, Linda Jones Herbert, Susan Berrin Horn, Karen Wohlheiter and Claire Sonntag Ackerman

in Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Volume 35, issue 6, pages 617-625
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 0146-8693
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1465-735X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsp082
Effects of Videogame Distraction and a Virtual Reality Type Head-Mounted Display Helmet on Cold Pressor Pain in Young Elementary School-Aged Children

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Objective This study examined the effects of videogame distraction and a virtual reality (VR) type head-mounted display helmet for children undergoing cold pressor pain. Methods Fifty children between the ages of 6 and 10 years underwent a baseline cold pressor trial followed by two cold pressor trials in which interactive videogame distraction was delivered via a VR helmet or without a VR helmet in counterbalanced order. Results As expected, children demonstrated significant improvements in pain threshold and pain tolerance during both distraction conditions. However, the two distraction conditions did not differ in effectiveness. Conclusions Using the VR helmet did not result in improved pain tolerance over and above the effects of interactive videogame distraction without VR technology. Clinical implications and possible developmental differences in elementary school-aged children's ability to use VR technology are discussed.

Keywords: Acute pain; children; distraction; virtual reality technology

Journal Article.  5692 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Psychology

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