Investigating the Effect of Virtual Reality on Reducing the Anxiety in Children: A Systematic Review

Kosar Ghaddaripouri, Seyyedeh Fatemeh Mousavi Baigi, Nazanin Noori, Mohammad Reza Mazaheri Habibi



Introduction: Many children may experience anxiety in treatment settings, especially in situations such as before surgery, dentistry and radiology. Virtual reality technology can provide a platform for reducing children's anxiety by creating a sense of presence in an unreal world. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of virtual reality technology on reducing anxiety in children.

Materials and Methods: A systematic review of randomized clinical trial studies was conducted in English without any time limit by searching for keywords in the reputable scientific databases PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE and Web of Science on September 12, 2021. Studies using virtual reality technology to reduce pediatric treatment anxiety were considered as inclusion criteria. Titles and abstracts were screened independently based on eligibility criteria. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Joanna Briggs institute (JBI) checklist. Studies that scored above 7 were included in this study.

Results: A total of 197 related articles were obtained, 10 of which were relevant to the objectives of the research.  Input studies included children aged 4 to 12 years. In 7 studies, virtual reality has helped reduce children's anxiety during treatment (70%). In 3 of the studied studies, no improvement was seen in reducing children's anxiety (30%). In 7 of the studies found, children and parents were completely satisfied with the use of virtual reality.

Conclusion: The results of systematic review show that virtual reality can make the treatment process more satisfactory and help manage their behavior by creating calmness and distraction, while reducing anxiety in children.


Anxiety; Virtual Reality; Child; Intelligent Health


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