Design and User Experience of VirNE Application: Deep Breathing Exercise in a Virtual Natural Environment to Reduce Treatment Anxiety in Pediatrics

Ilmari Jyskä, Markku Turunen, Arash Chaychi Maleki, Elina Karppa, Sauli Palmu, John Mäkelä, Kaija Puura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Treatment anxiety is a serious problem among child patients. A few studies have addressed this issue with virtual reality solutions, with promising results; however, the applications used have generally been designed for entertainment instead of this purpose. This article studies the potential of using deep breathing exercises in a virtual natural environment to address this issue, with a focus on design approach and user experience. It presents the VirNE—Virtual Natural Environments relaxation application, which is based on known stress-reduction methods, and a feasibility study conducted with it in a local hospital. The study had a within-subjects design, and it included 21 eight to twelve-year-old child patients, who used the application during an intravenous cannulation procedure related to their treatment. The study found good user acceptance and user experience both among the child patients and pediatricians, with the perceived usefulness of the method being higher among the patients with increased levels of anxiety or needle phobia. In addition, a clear stress-reducing effect was found. This offers proof-of-concept for the multidisciplinary design approach based on existing scientific knowledge regarding the desired effect for pediatric virtual reality applications for this use context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3129
Number of pages20
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • analgesia
  • anxiety
  • child
  • deep breathing
  • nature
  • stress
  • user experience
  • virtual natural environments
  • virtual reality

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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