"They reported both the patients' subjective ratings of relief and how those compared to physiological measurements to assess pain responses."
New York, June 6 - Inducing positive emotions or creating the perception of swapping a limb or bodily area affected by chronic pain in a virtual environment can be a powerful therapeutic tool, a research suggests.
Virtual reality can be an effective adjunct for both chronic and acute pain conditions.
Future possibilities for its use in pain conditions may include such diverse groups as military personnel, space exploration teams, and our ever increasing elderly population, explained Brenda K. Wiederhold, editor-in-chief of the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking that published the study.
Researchers from the Virtual Reality Medical Institute in Brussels, Belgium, and Virtual Reality Medical Center in San Diego, California, created pleasant virtual experiences that patients could navigate through in simulated worlds to distract them from pain.
They reported both the patients' subjective ratings of relief and how those compared to physiological measurements to assess pain responses.
In separate studies, researchers from Korea and Spain evaluated the effectiveness of virtual body swapping therapy in improving pain intensity and body perception disturbance in patients.