Anesthesia & Clinical Research

Anesthesia & Clinical Research
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-6148

+44 1223 790975


Using Cybertherapy to Reduce Postoperative Anxiety in Cardiac Recovery Intensive Care Units

José Luis Mosso Vázquez, Amador Santander, José Luis Mosso Jr, Kenneth Gao, Brenda Wiederhold and Mark D Wiederhold

Surgical anxiety creates psychological and physiological stress, causes complications in surgical procedures, and prolongs recovery. Relaxation of patients in postoperative intensive care units can moderate patient vital signs, reduce discomfort, and shorten length of stay. This study explores the use of virtual reality cybertherapy to reduce postoperative distress in patients that have recently undergone cardiac surgery. Twenty-two patients were monitored at IMSS La Raza National Medical Center within 24 hours of cardiac surgery. Patients navigated through a 30-minute virtual reality simulation designed for pain management and stress reduction. Results were analyzed through comparison of pre- and post-operative vital signs and Likert scale survey data. Likert test data showed that 21 of 22 subjects reported less discomfort after navigating through the virtual environment. Physiological data generally supported the Likert data, with 64% of patients lowering respiratory rate, moderated blood carbon dioxide levels, and decreased diastolic blood pressures in another 64% of patients. Thus, due to the innocuous and non-invasive nature of cybertherapy, virtual reality demonstrates promise in reducing postoperative anxiety.