IMR Press / CEOG / Volume 48 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.ceog.2021.01.2116
Open Access Original Research
Immersive virtual reality analgesia in un-medicated laboring women (during stage 1 and 2): a randomized controlled trial
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1 Department of Medical Informatics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, 14115-143 Tehran, Iran
2 Vali-e-Asr Reproductive Health Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 14155-6559 Tehran, Iran
Clin. Exp. Obstet. Gynecol. 2021, 48(1), 110–116; https://doi.org/10.31083/j.ceog.2021.01.2116
Submitted: 15 April 2020 | Revised: 27 July 2020 | Accepted: 29 July 2020 | Published: 15 February 2021
Abstract

Introduction: In order to manage labor pain, one of the non-pharmacological approaches is immersive virtual reality (VR). This study aimed to evaluate the impact of immersive VR analgesia on labor pain, anxiety and nausea in nulliparous women. Methods: In this interventional study, 52 nulliparous women with a single fetus who expected vaginal delivery were randomly assigned to a VR group (n = 26) and a control group (n = 26). 4 women excluded from the study due to the desire for medical intervention for pain control. A simulated environment (containing nature scenes and sounds) was presented to the women in the VR group. Pain intensity, anxiety, and nausea were measured using a questionnaire. The two groups were compared in terms of cognitive pain, sensory pain, affective pain, anxiety, and nausea. Results: There was a statically significant decrease of cognitive pain during the first stage of labor in the VR intervention group compared to the control group (P = 0.013), whereas in the second stage of labor it was not significant (P = 0.55). There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of affective pain. Also, sensory pain was significantly decreased only in the first stage of labor in the VR group compared to the control group (P = 0.033). Mothers in the intervention group had a lower level of anxiety compared with those in the control group (P < 0.05), whereas nausea was not significantly different between the two groups (P < 0.05) at all stages of labor. Conclusion: Virtual reality is an effective and feasible non-pharmacological method to reduce pain and anxiety during labor process without major side effects.

Keywords
Virtual reality
Labor pain
Nulliparous women
Randomized controlled trial
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