Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “Is virtual reality an effective pain management treatment during the wound care of pediatric burn patients?”

Study Design: Systematic review of three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published, in English, in peer-reviewed journals between 2008-2014.

Data Sources: The three RCTs were found using the PubMed and Ovid databases.

Outcomes measured: All three studies measured pain perception and intensity using self-reporting questionnaires, and visual analogue scales.

Results: Jeffs et al. and Miller et al. both showed that patients using the virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) mechanisms reported less pain during wound care than passive distraction or standard distraction groups. Mott et al. found that there was no difference in total pain between the control and virtual reality treatment groups requiring medium dressing times (<30 min). However, for long dressing times, the multi-modal distraction (MMD) device group reported significantly less pain than the control groups.

Conclusions: Based on the results of these three studies, it appears that there is a benefit in using virtual or augmented reality devices to supplement pain management in the pediatric population. There may be more benefit in patients that have more extensive injuries that require longer dressing times, but additional investigation is needed. Furthermore, there are multiple types of virtual or augmented reality devices and more studies are needed to show if one particular apparatus is more superior for pain management during wound care in pediatric burn patients.