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Randomised controlled trial
Preoperative virtual reality experience may improve patient satisfaction and reduce anxiety
  1. Axel Maurice-Szamburski
  1. Department of Anesthesia, Clinique Juge, Marseille, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Axel Maurice-Szamburski, Department of Anesthesia, Clinique Juge, Marseille 13008, France; amszamburski{at}

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Commentary on: Bekelis K, Calnan D, Simmons N, et al. Effect of an immersive preoperative virtual reality experience on patient-reported outcomes: a randomised controlled trial. Ann Surg 2017;265:1068–73.

Implications for practice and research

  • The assessment of patient experience is essential for evaluating surgical outcomes.

  • Patient satisfaction with the perioperative experience depends on a patient having experiences that match expectations.

  • By adapting patient expectations to real life, virtual reality (VR) could improve their global experience.


Most patients undergoing surgery are anxious.1 Addressing anxiety is a serious concern for the improvement of patient experience during the perioperative period. A previous study about anxiolytic premedication failed to demonstrate any improvement in patient experience,2 suggesting that treating surgery-induced anxiety as an illness may not be the answer. Besides anxiety, a patients’ need for information …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.