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Health Psychol. 2007 Nov;26(6):794-801.

Active and passive distraction using a head-mounted display helmet: effects on cold pressor pain in children.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA. dahlquis@umbc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The current study tested the effectiveness of interactive versus passive distraction that was delivered via a virtual reality type head-mounted display helmet for children experiencing cold pressor pain.

DESIGN:

Forty children, aged 5 to 13 years, underwent 1 or 2 baseline cold pressor trials followed by interactive distraction and passive distraction trials in counterbalanced order.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Pain threshold and pain tolerance.

RESULTS:

Children who experienced either passive or interactive distraction demonstrated significant improvements in both pain tolerance and pain threshold relative to their baseline scores. In contrast, children who underwent a second cold pressor trial without distraction showed no significant improvements in pain tolerance or threshold.

CONCLUSION:

Although both distraction conditions were effective, the interactive distraction condition was significantly more effective. Implications for the treatment of children's distress during painful medical procedures are discussed.

PMID:
18020853
DOI:
10.1037/0278-6133.26.6.794
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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