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The efficacy of playing a virtual reality (VR) game in modulating pain for children with acute burn injuries: A randomised controlled trial
ISRCTN ISRCTN87413556
DOI 10.1186/ISRCTN87413556
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier
EudraCT number
Public title The efficacy of playing a virtual reality (VR) game in modulating pain for children with acute burn injuries: A randomised controlled trial
Scientific title
Acronym VR for pain relief
Serial number at source N/A
Study hypothesis The efficacy of playing a virtual reality (VR) game in modulating pain for children with acute burn injuries
Lay summary
Ethics approval Not provided at time of registration
Study design Randomised controlled trial
Countries of recruitment Australia
Disease/condition/study domain Paediatric burns
Participants - inclusion criteria All children admitted to one specific ward (Newlands Ward), Women's and Children's Hospital, aged between 5 and 18 years, having burns to more than three percent of their body surface area, and requiring dressing changes, were eligible for inclusion in the study.
Participants - exclusion criteria Children with burns to their hands, face or head, past history of epilepsy and reduced intellectual capacity were not included, as they would have been unable to appropriately use the VR equipment.
Anticipated start date 01/01/2004
Anticipated end date 31/12/2004
Status of trial Completed
Patient information material
Target number of participants 9
Interventions The test administrations of routine pharmacological analgesia or routine pharmacological analgesia coupled with virtual reality were randomly assigned to each half of the burns dressing change (removal of existing burns dressings or application of fresh dressings) following a coin toss determining the sequence. The child and parents were given a standard explanation about the VR administration and the VR game. If required, subjects were allowed a short preview to assist them to understand how to play the game.
Primary outcome measure(s) The subjects were asked to score their average pain experience at the end of each phase of the dressing change procedure (VR and pharmacological analgesics, and pharmacological analgesics only). Pain was scored using a modified self-report Faces pain scale. The scale depicts increasing levels of pain and is offered in combination with a visual analogue scale of 0-10, associated with each picture representing a level of pain. Parents/carers and nurses were also interviewed by the data collector at these times, using open ended questions to obtain views regarding the child's anxiety and perception of pain, and utility of VR in a clinical setting.
Secondary outcome measure(s) Not provided at time of registration
Sources of funding University of South Australia (Australia)
Trial website
Publications 2005 results in http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15745448
Contact name Prof  Karen  Grimmer
  Address Centre for Allied Health Evidence
University of South Australia
  City/town Adelaide
  Zip/Postcode 5000
  Country Australia
  Tel +61 (0)8 83022769
  Fax +61 (0)8 83022766
  Email karen.grimmer@unisa.edu.au
Sponsor Women's and Children's Hospital (Australia)
  Address c/o Tony Sparnon
  City/town Adelaide
  Zip/Postcode 5000
  Country Australia
  Email drews@wch.sa.gov.au
  Sponsor website: http://www.wch.sa.gov.au/
Date applied 23/02/2005
Last edited 13/10/2009
Date ISRCTN assigned 23/02/2005
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