VR glasses help ICU nurses reduce stress by 40 percent

High work pressure during corona pandemic

During the corona pandemic, the pressure on nurses was great. To do something about this, ICU nurses at the UMCG could use virtual reality relaxation (VRelax): an app that can be used independently with VR glasses. ‘Previous research has already shown that the use of VRelax in people with a depression, anxiety, bipolar or psychotic disorder can improve negative moods such as feeling anxious or feeling down’, according to the UMCG.

Dozens of relaxing and interactive nature environments

The app consists of dozens of relaxing and interactive nature environments. From swimming with dolphins and relaxing on the beach or in the forest to participating in a singing bowl session. ‘With VRelax, we hoped to be able to create a moment of peace for ICU nurses during work,’ says researcher Mathijs Nijland. ‘Our research now shows that it works: two out of five nurses immediately experience less stress due to VRelax.’ User reactions were: “It’s like getting away from it all on vacation” and “it puts you back in your power”.

1 in 4 used VR glasses

Nurses were able to use the VR glasses in a special relaxation room during their shift, with the advice to do this for at least 10 minutes. Despite the workload, more than a quarter of all ICU nurses have used VR glasses at least once.

Stress-reducing and easy to use

Before and after the use of VRelax, the ICU nurses indicated on a scale from 0 to 100 how stressed they felt at that moment. Afterwards, a questionnaire was mailed to all ICU nurses in which they could indicate what they thought of the use of VRelax and whether it was a useful addition to their work process. The average stress reduction was 40%. A large majority of ICU nurses indicated that using VRelax was helpful in reducing stress and that the app was easy to use.


A major obstacle to use was the high workload during shifts, which sometimes meant that ICU nurses could not find the time to take a short break.

Stimulate wider commitment

‘With the results of this research, we hope to give a boost to the wider deployment of initiatives such as VRelax in healthcare. Patients and colleagues can benefit from this,’ says researcher Catheleine van Driel.

VR glasses help ICU nurses reduce stress by 40 percent
Source link VR glasses help ICU nurses reduce stress by 40 percent

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