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Child health
Virtual reality reduces pain and fear during intravenous cannulation in the emergency department
  1. Patricia Coulter
  1. Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ms Patricia Coulter, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Medical Biology Centre Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn road Belfast BT9 7BL Northern Ireland, UK; pcoulter07{at}

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Commentary on: Chen YJ, Cheng SF, Lee PC, Lai CH, Hou IC, Chen CW. Distraction using virtual reality for children during intravenous injections in an emergency department: A randomised trial. J Clin Nurs. 2020 Feb;29(3-4):503-510. doi: 10.1111/jocn.15088. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Implications for practice and research

  • Virtual reality (VR) head-mounted sets are a valuable tool to help reduce pain and anxiety for intravenous cannulation in children and caregivers.

  • Further studies should focus on comparison of the range of VR devices, their use in different age groups, and their use in the preparation prior to procedures.


Virtual Reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) are now affordable, and the latest ‘techno’ gadget for home entertainment. Research studies are increasingly focused on this new technology and the use of VR in the hospital setting. The use of VR headsets has great potential as a tool for use in a variety of scenarios in the …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.