Relieving Anxiety Through Virtual Reality Prior to Endoscopic Procedures

Yuna Kim, Sung Hwan Yoo, Jaeyoung Chun, Jie Hyun Kim, Young Hoon Youn, Hyojin Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Endoscopic procedures can cause anxiety, which can lead to more uncomfortable, difficult, and incomplete procedures, in addition to greater use of sedative medication. Here, we investigate whether exposing patients to virtual reality (VR) prior to endoscopic procedures can reduce their anxiety levels. Materials and Methods: Forty patients at Gangnam Severance Hospital were enrolled and divided into the VR group and the control group. Patients in the VR group were exposed to VR prior to their procedure to alleviate anxiety. The primary data outcomes were State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), pain score, satisfaction with sedation, and satisfaction with the procedure. Results: The mean STAI-state and STAI-trait did not differ significantly between the control group and the VR group. While defining a high anxiety STAI score as ≥45 in an STAI-state, the proportion of patients with high anxiety at baseline was 35% and increased to 50% prior to the procedure in the control group. However, in the VR group, the proportion of patients with high anxiety at baseline was 60% and decreased to 50% prior to the procedure. The proportion changes of patients with high anxiety in the STAI-state exhibited a significant difference between the control and VR groups (p=0.007). Furthermore, patients’ satisfaction with sedation was significantly greater in the VR group compared to the control group (p=0.017). Conclusion: VR exposure may relieve patients’ anxiety levels prior to endoscopic procedures, but further well-designed placebo-controlled studies are needed. VR, an inexpensive, easily available, and non-invasive method, also improved the satisfaction with sedation of endoscopic procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2023.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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