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How Efficient VR and Medical Hypnosis Are in Distracting Patients in Pain and Anxiety?

In a new report, presented at the annual meeting of ESAIC (European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care) researchers have revealed that virtual reality devices and medical hypnosis can help patients to ignore pain and anxiety when undergoing painful medical procedures.

The latest study on the effect of advanced technology like VR clearly shows and both technology and traditional medical procedures can go hand-by-hand. The study is conducted by pediatrician Dr. Gerlant Van Berlaer, anesthetist Dr. E Kubra Okur Kavak, and colleagues from Belgium’s Brussels University Hospital.

Alternative to drugs

The team of experts from the Brussels University Hospital has invented a new technique to distract patients from pain and anxiety when undergoing painful medical procedures. Researchers believe virtual reality glasses or medical hypnosis can be used as an alternative to drugs.

Researchers said that here painful medical procedures refer to any kind of basic medical procedures that can be done outside the operating theatres. The procedures may include stitching, insertion of siring or intravenous catheter, closing wounds, etc.

During the study, researchers have used VR glasses (OnComfort) and gave them to some patients. The VR glasses display some content designed for visual and vocal distraction. The team has used cartoon videos narrated by a calming voice.

The content offered some positive bits of advice to the wearers that worked as medical hypnosis. The videos, images, and dialogues are designed to distract patients from pain and anxiety when they were undergoing short painful medical procedures.


To conduct a trial, researchers include 104 patients with their consent. They divided patients into four different groups (6-11, 12-17, 18-65, 65+). Patients are divided into three arms for further steps. Doctors provided traditional care to all the patients involved in the experiment. The control group was given additional standard drugs for pain and anxiety. The two other groups were given VR glasses or medical hypnosis when going for medical procedures.

The result shows that patients of all groups were fine and in similar conditions before and at the beginning of the procedure. However, researchers noticed significant changes in the behavior of the involved patient one minute after the beginning of the procedure.

How Efficient VR and Medical Hypnosis Are in Distracting Patients in Pain and Anxiety?

The score of the intervention group recorded lower than the control group, while the rest were far below the level of pain and anxiety. The experiment was quite successful and researchers were happy with the findings.

Researchers found that patients who were given VR glasses were more satisfied than the patients in the hypnosis group. According to the researcher involved in the experiment, factors like age and gender are not going to play any role in the findings.

When talking about the latest development, an expert from the team said that the team noticed and recorded the significant changes in the patients’ behavior when undergoing medical procedures with VR or medical hypnosis.

The expert added that both hypnosis and VR therapy is safe and pain-free than traditional pharmacological treatment.

Advanced technologies have changed the way of many medical procedures and they continue to influence the field of medical science. This kind of findings can help patients to concentrate on interesting things when going through painful medical procedures.

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