SAN DIEGO (March 24, 2014)—Music may soothe the soul, but it takes video to calm a patient undergoing medical treatment, notes a study in which individuals watched television shows or movies through special video glasses while having a biopsy or other minimally invasive treatment. The research is being presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 39th Annual Scientific Meeting.
Although interventional radiology treatments offer less risk, less pain and less recovery time compared to open surgery, patients nonetheless may be anxious about them and their outcomes. Researchers have explored strategies other than medication to reduce anxiety, including having the patient listen to music or undergo hypnosis; however, these methods have modest benefits at best.
"Interventional radiologists are focused on innovation and creativity by applying novel devices to variable situations. Our study—the first of its kind for interventional radiology treatments—puts a spin on using modern technology to provide a safe, potentially cost-effective strategy of reducing anxiety, which can help and improve patient care," said David L. Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., FSIR, lead author of the study and professor and chair of the department of imaging sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y. "Whether they were watching a children's movie or a nature show, patients wearing video glasses were successful at tuning out their surroundings," he noted. "It's an effective distraction technique that helps focus the individual's attention away from the treatment," Waldman added.
The study involved 49 patients (33 men and 16 women, ages 18-87) who were undergoing an outpatient interventional radiology treatment, such as a biopsy or placement of a catheter in the arm or chest to receive medication for treating cancer or infection. Twenty-five of the patients donned video glasses prior to undergoing the treatment and 24 did not. Patients chose from among 20 videos, none of which were violent. All filled out a standard 20-question test called the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Form Y before and after the procedure to assess their level of anxiety. Patients who wore video glasses were 18.1 percent less anxious after the treatment than they were before, while those who didn't wear video glasses were only 7.5 percent less anxious afterward. The presence of the video glasses did not bother either the patient or the doctor, said Waldman. There was no significant effect on blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, pain, procedure time, or amount of sedation or pain medication.
"Patients told us the video glasses really helped calm them down and took their mind off the treatment, and we now offer video glasses to help distract patients from medical treatment going on mere inches away," said Waldman. "It is really comforting for patients, especially the ones who tend to be more nervous," he said.
More information about the Society of Interventional Radiology, finding an interventional radiologist in your area and minimally invasive treatments can be found online at http://www.SIRweb.org.
Abstract 126: "Clinical Efficacy, Safety and Feasibility of Using Video Glasses During Interventional Radiologic Procedures," A. Fang, M.D.; D.L. Waldman, M.D., FSIR, J. Xue, Ph.D.; Imaging Science; S. Ahmed, Imaging Science; S. Ahmed, School of Medicine, all University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y. SIR Annual Scientific Meeting, March 22-27. This abstract can be found at http://www.SIRmeeting.org.
About the Society of Interventional Radiology
Interventional radiologists are physicians who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. They offer the most in-depth knowledge of the least invasive treatments available coupled with diagnostic and clinical experience across all specialties. Using X-ray, MRI and other imaging to advance a catheter in the body, such as in an artery, they treat disease at the source internally. As the inventors of angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, which were first used in the legs to treat peripheral arterial disease, interventional radiologists pioneered minimally invasive modern medicine. Many conditions that once required surgery can be treated less invasively by interventional radiologists. Interventional radiology treatments offer less risk, less pain and less recovery time compared to open surgery. Visit http://www.SIRweb.org. Follow SIR on Facebook and Twitter and use #SIR2014 to keep up with news from SIR 2014.
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