Using virtual reality in palliative care: a systematic integrative review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:
Recently, healthcare services have witnessed an exponential increase in the use of immersive and non-immersive virtual reality (VR) technology to improve health-related outcomes. However, the use of VR in palliative care remains relatively unexplored.

Aims:
To review and synthesise evidence regarding the experiences of patients, families and healthcare professionals in palliative care who have engaged with immersive/non-immersive VR technology.

Methods:
A systematic integrative review using pre-defined MeSH search terms to identify eligible studies from five electronic databases (Cochrane Library, CINAHL, OVID Medline, Pubmed and Scopus) between April 2020 and February 2021.

Findings:
In total, 1066 articles were reviewed, 55 articles were considered eligible and subject to further analysis and a total of 16 articles met the inclusion criteria and were subject to critical appraisal. Rigorous analysis of eligible articles resulted in the identification of five overarching and interconnected themes: connection, VR as an emergent technology, perceptual change, safety, and future research.

Conclusion:
This review identified that VR could support patients, families and healthcare professionals in palliative care. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings could prove particularly significant for facilitating connection. However, further research is necessary to explore the full scope of VR use in this speciality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-144
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Volume28
Issue number3
Early online date2 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 MA Healthcare Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Digital Health
  • Virtual Reality
  • Healthcare Technology
  • Palliative Care
  • End of Life Care
  • virtual reality
  • digital health
  • healthcare technology
  • palliative care

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