Data_Sheet_1_Virtual Reality in Home Palliative Care: Brief Report on the Effect on Cancer-Related Symptomatology.docx (770.24 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Virtual Reality in Home Palliative Care: Brief Report on the Effect on Cancer-Related Symptomatology.docx

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posted on 24.09.2021, 04:13 by Serena Moscato, Vittoria Sichi, Andrea Giannelli, Pierpaolo Palumbo, Rita Ostan, Silvia Varani, Raffaella Pannuti, Lorenzo Chiari

Virtual reality (VR) has been used as a complementary therapy for managing psychological and physical symptoms in cancer patients. In palliative care, the evidence about the use of VR is still inadequate. This study aims to assess the effect of an immersive VR-based intervention conducted at home on anxiety, depression, and pain over 4days and to evaluate the short-term effect of VR sessions on cancer-related symptomatology. Participants were advanced cancer patients assisted at home who were provided with a VR headset for 4days. On days one and four, anxiety and depression were measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and pain by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI). Before and after each VR session, symptoms were collected by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS). Participants wore a smart wristband measuring physiological signals associated with pain, anxiety, and depression. Fourteen patients (mean age 47.2±14.2years) were recruited. Anxiety, depression (HADS), and pain (BPI) did not change significantly between days one and four. However, the ESAS items related to pain, depression, anxiety, well-being, and shortness of breath collected immediately after the VR sessions showed a significant improvement (p<0.01). A progressive reduction in electrodermal activity has been observed comparing the recordings before, during, and after the VR sessions, although these changes were not statistically significant. This brief research report supports the idea that VR could represent a suitable complementary tool for psychological treatment in advanced cancer patients assisted at home.

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