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J Behav Med. 2014 Feb;37(1):156-65. doi: 10.1007/s10865-012-9479-0. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

The effects of coping style on virtual reality enhanced videogame distraction in children undergoing cold pressor pain.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD, 21250, USA.


This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) enhanced interactive videogame distraction for children undergoing experimentally induced cold pressor pain and examined the role of avoidant and approach coping style as a moderator of VR distraction effectiveness. Sixty-two children (6-13 years old) underwent a baseline cold pressor trial followed by two cold pressor trials in which interactive videogame distraction was delivered both with and without a VR helmet in counterbalanced order. As predicted, children demonstrated significant improvement in pain tolerance during both interactive videogame distraction conditions. However, a differential response to videogame distraction with or without the enhancement of VR technology was not found. Children's coping style did not moderate their response to distraction. Rather, interactive videogame distraction with and without VR technology was equally effective for children who utilized avoidant or approach coping styles.

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