The Effects of Virtual Reality on Anxiety and Self-Efficacy Among Patients With Cancer: A Pilot Study

Susan D. Birkhoff

Cynthia Waddington

Jordan Williams

Leslie Verucci

Maureen Dominelli

Richard Caplan

virtual reality, chemotherapy, anxiety, self-efficacy, patient satisfaction
ONF 2021, 48(4), 431-439. DOI: 10.1188/21.ONF.431-439

Objectives: To examine the impact of a nurse-led intervention on anxiety levels and perceived self-efficacy to cope in patients receiving first-time chemotherapy using a customized prechemotherapy educational virtual reality (VR) video.

Sample & Setting: 35 patients with cancer receiving first-time chemotherapy participated in this study at a large suburban cancer center in Newark, Delaware.

Methods & Variables: A single-group, quasi-experimental pilot study was conducted to examine the feasibility of a customized prechemotherapy educational VR video in patients receiving first-time chemotherapy. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, heart rate, and blood pressure were used to measure anxiety, and the Cancer Behavior Inventory–Brief Version measured perceived self-efficacy to cope with cancer. Measures were taken pre- and postintervention, and patient satisfaction was examined postintervention.

Results: Anxiety level, heart rate, and blood pressure significantly decreased from baseline to postintervention, and perceived self-efficacy to cope significantly increased from baseline to postintervention.

Implications for Nursing: Personalized prechemotherapy educational VR videos could be further examined as an innovative nursing intervention to meet the health, emotional, and educational needs of diverse patient populations.

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