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 EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Not sure what that has to do with anything but yeah, the gender percentages differ depending on how the study defines what a gamer is.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
KronoThe rhetoric pushed by the spearheading articles that the "gamers" complaining about journalist ethics were just angry white male misogynists, insulted a lot of people that were previously fairly neutral. It made it go from a Kotaku problem, to a09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Krono@Andrew I'm not surprised overlap exists. I expect much of it is a rush to jump on the bandwagon, either by reporting on the original articles, or rushing out their own. The point is that was a major flashpoint, much bigger than the reddit mass deletion.09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Sleaker@AE - well the gamer trend was described with stats on Factual Femenist. Only 1 in 7 males plays games 20+ hrs going into college vs 1 in 40 females. So gaming is definitely still male dominated despite fake stats trying to say otherwise.09/18/2014 - 8:30pm
Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
Michael ChandraBut when the mountain obviously exists...09/18/2014 - 5:49pm
Michael ChandraMind you, if someone makes a mountain out of a molehill with a secret agenda as motive, it'd be fine.09/18/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenOkay, so I guess I'm not making sense of #notyourshield because it doesn't make any sense.09/18/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenI'd really only count three as being "death of gamer" articles and only one as arguably going a bit far with "gamers are young white dudes" stuff.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenMost are really just a look at the crap that happened the previous day when Sarkeesian's new video came out and almost all are exceedingly clear that they're talking about the specific gamers who are being obnoxious.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Yep, I had only seen two. I looked at the 12 you sent and while I had seen a few of them, I didn't think to count them. Some aren't about gamers at all. One's just highlighting two others. One is a Gamasutra community member blog post.09/18/2014 - 5:15pm
 

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