The introduction of virtual reality technology has aided healthcare and the field of medicine in numerous ways over the past years. That endless research has now possibly found a way to use a computer-generated simulation to ease the pain experienced by women during labor.
According to a study conducted by Ataturk University of Health Science in Turkey, the effects of cognitive behavioral techniques on midwives through virtual reality can potentially reduce their birth pain.
The study randomly assembled nearly 300 pregnant women and divided them between five categories where each category employed a different virtual reality technique. The first category, for example, simulated videos of newborn photographs with classical music. The second showed videos of only newborn photographs. The third and fourth categories had a Turkism movie and only classical music respectively. The last was routine hospital care.
The findings laid out that “all cognitive techniques applied with virtual reality reduced labor pain during the active phase of labor.” The first two categories in particular, of newborn photographs with classical music and newborn photograph albums, came out to be the most effective techniques to reduce labor pain. That being said, the nature of the study makes it an ongoing research.
In light of the study results, the following recommendations can be made: midwives can safely use these cognitive-behavioral techniques with VR to reduce birth pain.
At its core though, the study relies on a pretty basic principle, that virtual reality “can help users to connect to an environment simulating reality which reduces pain by distracting the users from the real world through computers or other devices.” The technology has most often been hailed for its advancements in the entertainment industry which includes the games industry. However, as pointed above, various other industries have been making use of virtual reality for great results as well.