The following is a summary of “The Effect of Virtual Reality Distraction Intervention on Pain, Anxiety, and Vital Signs of Oncology Patients Undergoing Port Catheter Implantation: A Randomized Controlled Study” published in the October 2022 issue of Pain Management by Menekli et al.

There are various ways port catheters improve patients’ lives, however some patients have reported negative side effects, such as discomfort at the incision site or anxiety before, during, or after the procedure. Distraction is a straightforward yet very efficient strategy for dealing with discomfort and stress. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of providing oncology patients undergoing port catheter installation with a virtual reality (VR) distraction intervention on their levels of discomfort, anxiety, and vital signs. With Controlled, random experiment.

A total of 139 people (70 in the control group and 69 in the intervention group) participated in the trial, which ran from September 2019 to January 2020. A patient identification form, State Anxiety Inventory (SAI), vital signs table, and visual analog scale for pain intensity were used to collect data before, during, and after the implantation. In addition, patients in the intervention group were given a virtual reality headset, videos, and soothing music to utilize throughout the implantation procedure and whenever they experienced pain afterward. Neither patients nor researchers were blinded to the other’s identities at any point throughout the trial.

Both groups reported more pain after the implants were placed, but the intervention group reported less pain overall, and the difference between the groups became statistically significant. Anxiety, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration rate all went down in the intervention group, but SpO2 increased. The usage of VR significantly alters pain ratings (Cohen’s d=3.023) and social anxiety index (SAI) ratings (8.770). Patients undergoing port catheter insertion saw improvements in discomfort, anxiety, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate, as well as an increase in SpO2 after receiving a VR distraction intervention.