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Virtual reality distraction from painful procedures in the paediatric emergency department
  1. Katie Knight,
  2. Ciara Ellen McClenaghan,
  3. Bethany Singh
    1. Department of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
    1. Correspondence to Dr Katie Knight, Department of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Royal London Hospital, London E1 1BB, UK; katieknight1{at}

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    Head-mounted virtual reality (VR) technology allows an individual to be immersed in a simulated interactive environment, via a wearable headset. There is growing evidence for the application of VR in many aspects of healthcare.1 2

    We hypothesised that VR would reduce anxiety and pain in children undergoing short painful procedures (cannulation, venepuncture, wound closure or foreign body removal) in the paediatric emergency department (PED).

    We compared how distracted children were with VR (Pico Goblin headset, using the ‘Happy Place’ animated interactive 360° experience), with how distracted an equivalent group of children were with traditional distraction (TD) methods (a play specialist and the child’s choice of book, game or tablet computer). Children …

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    • Contributors KK designed the study, collected data and prepared the manuscript for final submission. CEM and BS collected and analysed the data, and produced a first draft of the manuscript.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Patient consent Not required.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.