Virtual Reality Research

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Grant: $30,000

Support from the Cancer Free Generation at Tower Cancer Research Foundation will fund virtual reality Research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles(CHLA). In pediatric facilities throughout the country, children undergo necessary yet painful and distressing procedures every day, but very few non-pharmaceutical interventions have been determined to successfully manage the pain and anxiety associated with these procedures. Dr. Jeffrey Gold, a clinical psychologist and director of CHLA’s Pediatric Pain Management Clinic, is examining the effectiveness of virtual reality for children and adolescents undergoing painful procedures such as blood draws. He and his team of researchers are finding that patients experience significantly less procedural pain and anticipatory anxiety, as well as lower heart rates and less behavioral distress than patients receiving the standard of care, such as topical anesthetics. This grant will help expand Dr. Gold’s research from a few areas of interest toward a clinical service line; ongoing research and evaluation; modification of hardware and virtual environments; collaboration with universities; industry and other hospitals, and ultimately advancing the study and application of virtual reality in pediatric medicine.