A virtual reality tour of the operating room prior to anaesthesia helped reduce preoperative anxiety in children scheduled to undergo surgery who took part in a clinical trial published in the BJS (British Journal of Surgery).
Seventy children scheduled for elective surgery under general anaesthesia were randomised to a control group, which received a conventional informative education regarding anaesthesia and surgery, and a virtual reality group, which watched a 4-minute virtual reality video showing Pororo the little penguin visiting the operating room and explaining what is in the operating room in a friendly manner.
"Medical practice has been changing a great deal with the convergence of ICT -- information and communications technology -- and healthcare," said Dr. Sung-Hee Han, senior author of the study. "This study shows how medicine and ICT can be coordinated to achieve clinical significance. More studies and investigations are expected in line with the current trend."
The article is included in a themed issue on paediatric surgery.