The Effect of Gamification through a Virtual Reality on Preoperative Anxiety in Pediatric Patients Undergoing General Anesthesia: A Prospective, Randomized, and Controlled Trial
Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Medical Virtual Reality Research Group, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam 13620, Korea
Department of Radiology, Medical Device Research and Development Center, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam 13620, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The authors contributed equally to this project as co-first authors.
The authors contributed equally to this project as co-corresponding authors.
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(9), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090284
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Technology Applications to Promote Physical Activity and Health)
The use of gamification in healthcare has been gaining popularity. This prospective, randomized, clinical trial was designed to evaluate whether gamification of the preoperative process—via virtual reality (VR) gaming that provides a vivid, immersive and realistic experience—could reduce preoperative anxiety in children. Seventy children scheduled for elective surgery under general anesthesia were randomly divided into either the control or gamification group. Children in the control group received conventional education regarding the preoperative process, whereas those in the gamification group played a 5 min VR game experiencing the preoperative experience. Preoperative anxiety, induction compliance checklist (ICC), and procedural behavior rating scale (PBRS) were measured. Sixty-nine children were included in the final analysis (control group = 35, gamification = 34). Preoperative anxiety (28.3 [23.3–36.7] vs. 46.7 [31.7–51.7]; p < 0.001) and intraoperative compliance measured using ICC (p = 0.038) were lower in the gamification group than in the control group. However, PBRS (p = 0.092) and parent/guardian satisfaction (p = 0.268) were comparable between the two groups. VR experience of the preoperative process could reduce preoperative anxiety and improve compliance during anesthetic induction in children undergoing elective surgery and general anesthesia.