Video Glasses Help Ease Patients during Procedures

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According to a recent study, patients watched television shows or movies through specialized video glasses while undergoing a biopsy or any other minimally invasive medical procedure. The study’s findings are set to be presented at the Society of Radiology" href="/tag/Interventional-Radiology.html">Interventional Radiology's 39th Annual Scientific Meeting.

And while interventional radiology treatments provide less risk, less pain, and less recovery time as opposed to open surgery, patients can still be nervous about them and their possible results. Researchers have rationed out strategies and plans other than medication in order to diminish anxiety, including having the patient listen to music or undergo hypnosis; however, these methods only have slight and minor benefits at best.

"Interventional radiologists are focused on innovation and creativity by applying novel devices to variable situations. Our study, which is the first of its kind for interventional radiology treatments, puts a spin on using modern technology to provide a safe, potentially cost-effective strategy of reducing anxiety, which can help and improve patient care," said lead author of the study and professor and chair of the department of imaging sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., David L. Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., FSIR.

"Whether they were watching a children's movie or a nature show, patients wearing video glasses were successful at tuning out their surroundings," he noted.

"It's an effective distraction technique that helps focus the individual's attention away from the treatment," Waldman added.

The study involved 49 patients (33 men and 16 women, ages 18-87) who were receiving an outpatient interventional radiology treatment, such as a biopsy or placement of a catheter in the arm or chest to receive medication for treating cancer or infection.

Twenty-five of the 49 patients put on video glasses prior to undergoing the treatment while 24 did not. Patients chose from a selection of 20 videos, none of which were violent in content. All filled out a standard 20-question test called the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Form Y before and after the procedure to evaluate their level of anxiety.

Patients who wore video glasses were 18.1 percent less anxious following treatment than they were prior to treatment, while those who didn't wear video glasses were only 7.5 percent less anxious following treatment.

“The presence of the video glasses did not bother either the patient or the doctor. There was no significant effect on blood pressure heart rate, respiratory rate, pain, procedure time, or amount of sedation or pain medication,” noted Waldman.

"Patients told us the video glasses really helped calm them down and took their mind off the treatment, and we now offer video glasses to help distract patients from medical treatment going on mere inches away. It is really comforting for patients, especially the ones who tend to be more nervous," he added.


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