Effects of Patient Education and Distraction Approaches Using Virtual Reality on Pre-operative Anxiety and Post-operative Pain in Patients Undergoing Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Published:January 17, 2023DOI:



      Fear of post-operative pain often contributes to pre-operative anxiety; accordingly, pain and anxiety are among the most common complications in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC).


      The present study aimed to determine the effects of patient education and distraction using virtual reality (VR) on pre-operative anxiety and post-operative pain in patients undergoing LC.


      This randomized clinical trial included 150 patients in the surgery wards of educational hospitals in Mashhad, Iran, in 2020. The participants were randomly assigned to three groups of education, distraction, and control. The education and distraction groups watched two five-minute animations and three 360-degree images of nature using VR glasses 2 hours before and 4 hours after the surgery, respectively. On the other hand, the control group received routine care. Anxiety was measured using Spielberger's State Anxiety Inventory before and half an hour after the intervention. Moreover, the pain was measured using the visual analog scale and McGill Pain Questionnaire.


      The results demonstrated a significant reduction in the two VR groups regarding the pre-operative anxiety mean scores, compared with the control group (p < .001). Furthermore, a significant reduction was observed in post-operative pain scores of patients in the two intervention groups compared with the control group (p = .001).


      As evidenced by the results, both VR approaches of patient education and distraction equally decreased pre-operative anxiety and post-operative pain in patients undergoing LC.


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