Chronic pain has recently been highlighted as one of the most prominent causes of disability worldwide. Here in the UK, it affects 28 million adults.
Evidence-based behavioral strategies are effective methods, however, multiple barriers prevent patients from broadly accessing these low-risk and nonpharmacologic pain self-management tools. Barriers include few skilled local therapists, co-payments associated with clinic visits, travel costs, and treatment time. Even when delivered to patients at no cost, in-person behavioral treatments can have poor patient engagement, and remain therapist dependent, thereby suggesting a new delivery method to meet the needs of a broad range of patients.
“painVRree” is a skill-based, self-administered, virtual reality intervention for chronic pain. It transcends many current barriers to provides a scalable way to deliver on-demand home-based behavioral treatment for chronic pain.
Diaphragmatic breathing, an evidence-based behavioral pain management technique, is conveyed in an intuitive and playful way.
The player’s breathing rhythm is used as a game controller to navigate a virtual pain portrait.
Heart rate, skin conductance, & peripheral body temperature of painful moments are used for monitoring treatment progress and formulating the pain portrait in VR.