Virtual reality for acute pain in outpatient hysteroscopy: a randomised controlled trial

N Deo, K S Khan, J Mak, J Allotey, F J Gonzalez Carreras, G Fusari, J Benn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality as a distraction technique in the management of acute pain and anxiety during outpatient hysteroscopy.

DESIGN: Parallel group, prospective randomised controlled trial.

SETTING: UK University Hospital.

METHODS: Forty consenting, eligible women were randomised to virtual reality intervention (immersive video content as a distraction method) or standard care during outpatient hysteroscopy from August to October 2018.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pain and anxiety outcomes were measured as a numeric rating score (scale 0-10).

RESULTS: Compared with standard care, women with virtual reality intervention experienced less average pain (score 6.0 versus 3.7, mean difference 2.3, 95% CI 0.61-3.99, P = 0.009) and anxiety (score 5.45 versus 3.3, mean difference 2.15, 95% CI 0.38-3.92, P = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: Virtual reality was effective in reducing pain and anxiety during outpatient hysteroscopy in a mixed-methods randomised control trial. Its wide potential role in ambulatory gynaecological procedures needs further evaluation.

TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: Virtual reality can be used as a part of a multimodal strategy to reduce acute pain and anxiety in patients undergoing outpatient hysteroscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.


  • Anxiety
  • outpatient hysteroscopy
  • pain
  • randomised controlled trial
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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