crop-20190425 LSheehy photo

Using immersive virtual reality to decrease pain and distress in patients in complex continuing care

Lisa Sheehy, PT, PhD

Award: 2022 Compassion and AI Fellowship

  • Complex Continuing Care
  • Pain
  • Virtual reality

Affiliate Investigator, Bruyère Research Institute

Many patients in complex continuing care (CCC) experience pain, either chronic or episodic (for example, during wound dressing changes).  The objective of Lisa’s project is to assess the impact of Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) on pain and distress in patients living in CCC. Up to 50 patients will receive IVR experiences (such as walking on a beach or watching a music concert) for up to 30 minutes at a time, up to 3 days a week, for 3 weeks. Pain, distress, and pain medication use will be assessed before and after the 3-week intervention period. Usability and feasibility will also be assessed. If a benefit is found, IVR will be considered for wider clinical use.