The use of Virtual Reality (VR) is winning more and more in the public health sector. Among other things, VR is used as pain relief for burn victims in the US, and in the psychiatry, VR is used as a simulation for patients with anxiety. But VR as pain relief for birthing women is a new and untested area and therefore, this project is implemented.
The presumption is that VR can contribute to directing the individual’s thinking towards other things, create positive associations and abstractions and thereby decrease the pain experience. It is a new thing to use VR as pain relief in the latent phase of birthing.
The project will examine if there is a potential with Virtual Reality (VR) for relief of pain for the birthing woman in the first phase of the birth.
In the VR-universe the birthing woman will be shielded from the outside world and surrounded by a virtual world with the possibility for moving around and exploring with a 360-degree view. In the project, there is developed three virtual environments: the woods, the beach and the meadow which are all acting calming and soothing.
In the beach environment, there is a possibility to choose guided breathing which can support the birthing woman in handling the contractions when they appear.
If the birthing woman wants more of a distraction from the contractions, there is also a possibility to choose a small game module, where points will be collected in the various virtual environments.
The birthing woman can share the experience of the attending people in the home or the delivery room who can keep up with what is shown in the VR-headset.
The project is testing on pregnant women throughout the fall of 2020. Subsequently, the project will be evaluated with a focus on both the birthing women’s experience, as well as the staff’s experience of VR as pain relief.
Start: September 2020
End: December 2020