Interventional radiology offers new options for disease treatment and gives patients alternatives when they’re not well-suited for traditional surgery. Yet, while surgery sounds scarier to many patients, being awake while catheters are being snaked down your arteries can induce considerable anxiety. Besides creating discomfort, the anxiety can increase the patient’s heartbeat and pulmonary rate, require physicians to calm the patient instead of focusing on the task at hand, and eat up precious time. Researchers at University of Rochester Medical Center wanted to test whether video glasses that help patients forget where they are can be an effective tool for managing anxiety while under a fluoroscope.
In a study of 49 patients going through interventional radiology procedures, 25 wore video goggles that offered a choice of twenty non-violent videos, in addition to sedation and medication. The others went through their procedure the traditional way, just on sedation and pain medication, with a lot of time to listen and worry about what the clinicians are up to. The researchers found that, comparing results from before and after the procedure on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Form Y, a standard 20 question anxiety questionnaire, the patients who donned the video goggles had a 18.1 reduction of anxiety compared to only 7.5 percent in those without the glasses. The medical center now offers video goggles to patients undergoing various procedures that are looking to keep their stress under control.
The research is being presented this week at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 39th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego, CA.
Press release: Keep Calm and Don Your Video Glasses