Pain symptoms have been addressed with a variety of therapeutic measures in the past, but as we look to the future, we begin encountering new options for patient care and individual health and well-being. Recent studies indicate that computer-generated graphic environments - virtual reality (VR) - can offer effective cognitive distractions for individuals suffering from pain arising from a variety of physical and psychological illnesses. Studies also indicate the effectiveness of VR for both chronic and acute pain conditions. Future possibilities for VR to address pain-related concerns include such diverse groups as military personnel, space exploration teams, the general labor force, and our ever increasing elderly population. VR also shows promise to help in such areas as drug abuse, at-home treatments, and athletic injuries.
- computer interface
- virtual reality exposure therapy