Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective evidence-based medicine review is to determine whether or not, “Is virtual reality an effective tool for reducing procedural pain in pediatric patients?”
STUDY DESIGN: Included the review of three English language primary studies, published between 2014 and 2018. Articles were selected based on outcomes measured and relevance to the objective.
DATA SOURCES: PubMed was utilized to find two randomized controlled trials and one quasiexperimental study. The selected studies analyzed how the use of virtual reality impacted the amount of pain experienced by the pediatric patient undergoing either a venipuncture or burn wound care procedure.
OUTCOMES MEASURED: Patient outcomes were measured with the Faces Pain Scale – Revised (FPS-R), the Adolescent Pediatric Pain Tool and Word Graphic Rating Scale (APPT-WGRS) and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).
RESULTS: All three studies showed a statistically significant reduction in the level of procedural pain experienced by pediatric patients that utilized virtual reality while undergoing either a venipuncture or burn wound care procedure. The Gold et al. study showed a statistically significant reduction in procedural pain experienced with venipuncture vs. standard of care via the FPS-R. The Jeffs et al. study showed a statistically significant reduction in procedural pain experienced with burn wound care vs. passive distraction via the APPT-WGRS. The Piskorz et al. study showed a statistically significant reduction in procedural pain experienced with venipuncture vs. no virtual reality via the VAS.
CONCLUSION: The result of two randomized controlled trials and the one quasi-experimental study, which compared procedural pain in pediatric patients using virtual reality during venipuncture or burn wound care compared to a control group using either conventional standard of care, passive distraction or no virtual reality during the same type of procedure, showed virtual reality to be an effective tool for providing a statistically significant reduction in procedural pain in the pediatric patient population.
Wiegand, Rachel M., "Is Virtual Reality an Effective Tool for Reducing Procedural Pain in Pediatric Patients?" (2019). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 493.