Study: Virtual reality therapy can lower stress levels of hospital patients
LOS ANGELES (NBC News) — An innovative study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center aims to ease the stress of staying in the hospital.
Doctors at Cedars-Sinai are studying the effects of virtual reality on hospital patients whose real world surroundings can be sterile, uncomfortable, and sometimes frightening.
Patients are carried away to different worlds.
Researchers have tested the virtual reality system with about 70 people so far. Many say it's helping relieve stress and anxiety.
That feeling is illustrated perfectly by a young boy at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan.
Doctors there have also used virtual reality, in this case turning wheelchairs into rollercoasters.
The Cedars-Sinai team thinks virtual reality could also be useful for women enduring long labors and those having to wait for painful procedures.
They're now working to determine if the therapy produces greater health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and reduced pain scores.
Younger patients have been most willing to test the system, but it is older patients who appear to be most amazed by it and could get the biggest benefit.