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See detailPlay the Pain Away: Pain Regulation and Attention in Virtual Reality
Holl, Elisabeth UL; Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; Battistutta, Layla UL et al

Scientific Conference (2020, May)

Virtual reality (VR) has been shown to be a powerful method to divert attention away from pain (Malloy & Milling, 2010). In an ongoing study (data collection will be finished in late December 2019 ... [more ▼]

Virtual reality (VR) has been shown to be a powerful method to divert attention away from pain (Malloy & Milling, 2010). In an ongoing study (data collection will be finished in late December 2019) healthy participants play the VR game Subnautica in two conditions (high vs. low cognitive load). Pain thresholds and psychophysiological measures are assessed during play to measure the distraction effect. Additionally, pain management will be compared to individual executive functions and attention investigated before playing. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 57 (5 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailInvestigating the role of individual differences in the analgesic response to a virtual reality game: An exploratory analysis (accepted submission, but symposium was cancelled due to COVID-19)
Rischer, Katharina Miriam UL; Barcatta, Katharina UL; Battistutta, Layla UL et al

Scientific Conference (2020, March)

Virtual reality (VR) has been shown to be a powerful method of redirecting attention away from pain and is increasingly used in clinical settings as a therapeutic tool for pain treatment. Yet, little is ... [more ▼]

Virtual reality (VR) has been shown to be a powerful method of redirecting attention away from pain and is increasingly used in clinical settings as a therapeutic tool for pain treatment. Yet, little is known about the underlying factors that modulate the size of the analgesic response to a VR game, such as task difficulty and inter-individual differences in pain attitude, emotion regulation habits, executive functions and virtual reality experience. Methods: 101 healthy participants played two versions of the VR game Subnautica, differing in cognitive load (low load vs. high load). In the low load condition, participants navigated along a predefined route. In the high load condition, participants additionally memorized a series of single digits presented along the route. Pain heat thresholds as well as psychophysiological measures (ECG, EDA) were recorded during a resting state period prior to, as well as during, the two VR playing sessions. In addition, participants completed several psychological questionnaires and different executive functioning tasks (Corsi block tapping task, flanker task, go/nogo task) prior to the VR sessions. Results: Preliminary results of a subgroup (N = 66) of the total sample revealed that pain thresholds were significantly higher for the VR playing sessions when compared to the resting state period, with a trend of a higher threshold for the high load condition. Moreover, pain catastrophizing and fear of pain were significant predictors of pain threshold measurements. The complete results will be presented at the symposium. Discussion: Results could shed light on the role of inter-individual differences on the efficacy of VR-based distraction from pain, and potentially elucidate factors that render an individual more likely to benefit from VR as a pain-relieving tool. This may have important consequences for the use of VR as a therapeutic treatment for pain patients. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 41 (3 UL)