SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — Seoul National University Bundang Hospital has made a virtual reality video explaining a surgical procedure for child patients, as part of efforts to help children relax before going into the operating room.
Professors Han Seong-hee and Yu Jung-hee at the department of anesthesiology and pain medicine at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital teamed up with visual content maker The VR and Iconix Entertainment to create a VR video introducing the operating room to children.
Han and Yu said on Monday that the video could help eliminate fear of the operating room among children, after conducting a study between January and April with a sample of 69 child patients.
During the study, a group of 34 children were instructed to watch a VR video while another group of 35 were given information about surgery and general anesthesia without visual aids.
When the two groups were later surveyed, those who received a VR experience were found to have less anxiety about surgical procedures, and responded better to anesthesia induction.
Though it has been previously reported by South Korean doctors that having patients experience a medical surgery through VR videos can help calm their nerves, it’s the first time in the country for a study to prove that VR videos can psychologically better prepare children for general anesthesia.
Kang, a five-year-old boy who was awaiting hernia repair surgery at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, was among many who were able to tackle fear and nerves thanks to the VR video of the famous character Pororo, during which the character explains in detail the process of general anesthesia and gives a general introduction of the operating room.
“To reduce anxiety, patients need to be familiarized with the operating room and understand accurately the preparation and anesthesia process. Watching VR videos to indirectly experience an operating room can help child patients adapt to a new environment more quickly as well as provide useful information, which can help to ease anxiety,”Han said.
“By using VR videos and operating room experience programs, we can also avoid using excessive quantities of sedatives,” Han added.
Findings from the study have been published in the latest edition of the British Journal of Surgery.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)