(Image credit- XR Health)
Surgery patients’ anxiety and stress may be reduced by incorporating augmented reality (AR) into preoperative treatment, according to recent research.
Surgery can cause various feelings, frequently including stress and nervousness. No matter how complicated the process, the thought of going through it can make someone anxious and uncomfortable.
The mental strain that patients frequently face is a result of the uncertainty surrounding the results, the anticipation of the surgical procedure itself, and worries about potential consequences.
The surgical setting alone might be nerve-wracking. The clinical procedures, disinfecting environment, and medical supplies used in operating rooms might cause patients to feel removed from their regular environments.
According to recent research from the University of Miami, the incorporation of AR into preoperative treatment has recently come to light as a promising remedy for reducing stress and worry among surgery patients.
Interventions Based on AR
According to the reports, this study examined the benefits of AR-based interventions in reducing surgery-related stress and involved 95 patients with an average age of 38 who were scheduled for elective orthopedic operations.
The trial included two independent groups: a control group that just received regular surgical instructions and an experimental cohort that received a three-minute AR encounter narrated by the lead surgeon.
The AR experience seeks to demystify the surgical journey by providing personalized and interactive insight, effectively addressing the “fear of the unknown” that frequently accompanies surgery. It is facilitated by a headset that combines real-life surroundings with augmented elements pertinent to the hospital and the surgical process.
Unlike virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) allows users to maintain control over their experience while enhancing the current reality. In virtual reality, the surroundings are totally simulated from the user’s point of view.
Both groups were evaluated for their anxiety levels four times over the course of the patient’s surgical journeys—twice before surgery and twice after. The results showed that the AR group experienced considerably less stress before the operation.
Importantly, this decline was retained after the initial survey, showing that the AR-based preoperative preparation had a long-lasting effect.
Additional Research Is Required
It’s important to remember that this specific AR intervention was designed for patients experiencing the same surgical procedure, with the same surgeon, at the same hospital.
To find out if the technology can be successfully applied to various individual contexts or if a broader strategy may produce comparable stress alleviation results, more research must be done.
This study is part of a larger effort to investigate the use of augmented reality and virtual reality in the medical industry, with potential uses in anything from medical education to psychiatric therapy.