Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Designing effective virtual reality environments for pain management in burn-injured patients

Phelan, Ivan, Furness, Penny Jane, Matsangidou, Maria, Babiker, Nathan T., Fehily, Orla, Thompson, Andrew ORCID:, Carrion-Plaza, Alicia and Lindley, Shirley A. 2023. Designing effective virtual reality environments for pain management in burn-injured patients. Virtual Reality 27 , pp. 201-215. 10.1007/s10055-021-00552-z

[thumbnail of Phelan2021_Article_DesigningEffectiveVirtualReali.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (960kB)


Burn patients engage in repetitive painful therapeutic treatments, such as wound debridement, dressing changes, and other medical processes high in procedural pain. Pharmacological analgesics have been used for managing pain, but with ineffective results and negative side efects. Studies on pain management for burn patients suggested that Virtual Reality can treat procedural pain. This paper describes the process of designing, testing, and deploying a Virtual Reality system into a hospital setting. Firstly, a workshop was conducted to identify the most suitable types of Virtual Reality contents for the needs of burn-injured patients. Then, an experimental study, with 15 healthy adults, explored the analgesic impact of the Virtual Reality contents. The pain was induced through a cold pressor. Finally, we deployed the Virtual Reality system into the hospital to examine its efciency on burn-injured inpatients. This study presents factors for the efective design and deployment of Virtual Reality for burn-injured patients residing in a hospital. Those factors refer to the use of cartoonish features and a choice of content based on each patient’s interests to increase the positive emotions and the use of interactive features, portable equipment to reduce pain and increase the feasibility of the technology in clinical settings. Finally, our results indicated that the extension of the VR use after the therapeutic session could support more efective pain treatment. Trial registration number Protocol ID: AA8434

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 1359-4338
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 July 2021
Date of Acceptance: 14 June 2021
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 03:59

Citation Data

Cited 6 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics