How Video Games May Help Burn Victims Cope With Painful Therapy

December 27, 2010 -

The Shriners Hospitals for Children in Galveston, Texas is taking part in a psychological study that examines the effects of virtual reality game on pain tolerance during physical and occupational therapy.

Funded by a National Institutes of Health grant and conducted by the University of Washington, the study uses a video game called SnowWorld with young burn patients to see how the game helps them during physical and occupational therapy. These two types of therapies are collectively called rehabilitative therapy, and are essential to the recovery of patients suffering burn injuries.

As burns heal, the affected areas of the body tend to tighten causing constrictions of the skin, and making mobility a challenge to patients. Therapies and exercises that address these issues are common, but also lead to discomfort. Patients often report an increase in pain levels.

Researchers hope that introducing a gamecalled SnowWorld into the therapy process will reduce the level of pain reported by burn patients and increase the overall success of rehab therapy sessions. Early data from the study have found that patients who use "the game" report less pain during therapy than those not participating. Many patients also reported enjoying therapy more when SnowWorld was part of their sessions.

Researchers say that the design of the game has a lot to do with the game’s design. While the typical video game has storylines, characters, and action, SnowWorld is purposely designed to omit these elements in favor of creating an "immersive distraction." The game is a virtual, visual form of reverse psychology where patients focus on the chilly world and forget about the pain their injuries cause during therapy.

David R. Patterson, a pain expert at the University of Washington, and Hunter Hoffman, director of the Virtual Reality Analgesia Research Center at the University of Washington, are spearheading the experiment. Both have been working with pediatrician and pediatric psychiatrist Dr. Walter Meyer, Research Associate Bill Russell, Psychologist Dr. Lisa Arceneaux and Clinical Researcher Jordan Kampschmidt to collect data on the effects SnowWorld has on the hospital’s pediatric burn patients.

Researchers hope that pediatric patients with burn injuries are helped by this vitual world and enabled to complete more rigorous rehab therapy exercise regimens when SnowWorld is being played.

Source: galvestondailynews.com


Comments

Re: How Video Games May Help Burn Victims Cope With Painful ...

Researchers say that the design of the game has a lot to do with the game’s design.

Wait, what? Redundant statement is redundant.

 
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Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
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quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
 

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