VR Helps Reduce Hospital Patients’ Anxiety & Stress

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Reducing Anxiety & Stress Through Virtual Reality

For nurses and doctors getting a patient to feel better is their goal, and virtual reality can lend a helping hand.

Edward Hospital has teamed up with two VR companies – KindVR who supplies the Naperville hospital with pediatric goggles, and AppliedVR, who helps other departments. The hope is the technology can reduce a patient’s stress and anxiety levels.

How Does It Work?

Using a remote and goggles, pediatric patients are able to submerge themselves into several different programs including an underwater journey.

“The focus of child life is really to make the hospital experience more normal and to help them get through the awkwardness or the fear of being here in a successful way,” said Nina Sittler, a child life specialist at Edward.

Nurses and volunteers help guide participants through the programs they choose, and unlike traditional VR technology, the ones Edward has can be used from the comfort of a bed.

What Are Patients Saying About The VR Tech?

Adult patient Chris Kudla, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2017, says the experience helps him forget about what he’s dealing with.

“Even now I still feel calm and relaxed. I feel at peace. It’s the best way to describe it,” said Kudla. “It’s like that burden being lifted off of me at least for a little while. I don’t have to think about all those things.”

Family Support Through it All

Helping Kudla temporarily escape reality is his mother-in-law Barb McDonell, who volunteers at Edward Hospital.

“It means a lot, that I can actually help Chris and then help other cancer patients trying to get their mind away and some peace,” said McDonald.

And Chris is grateful for his mother’s help.

“It’s an emotional thing, knowing she’s been so supportive through everything and now here’s another opportunity of a way that she can help me,” said Kudla. “She’s been able to make people feel better and get away from what they’re going through.”

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.