Analgesic efficacy of virtual reality for acute pain in amniocentesis: A randomized controlled trial

Yaakov Melcer*, Ron Maymon, Maayan Gal-Kochav, Marina Pekar-Zlotin, Orna Levinsohn-Tavor, Israel Meizner, Ran Svirsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To evaluate the efficacy of virtual reality (VR) as a distraction technique in the management of acute pain and anxiety during amniocentesis. Study design: A randomized controlled trial was conducted between September 2020 and October 2020 involving 60 women undergoing mid-trimester amniocentesis. Thirty women were assigned randomly to the VR intervention (immersive video content as a distraction method) group and 30 to the standard care group using a predetermined randomization code. The primary outcome measure was the visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, along with the women's ratings of their extent of anxiety experienced during the procedure. The VAS consisted of a 10 cm line ranging from 0 to 10 (anchored by 0 = no pain and 10=very severe pain). Anxiety was assessed on Spielberger's state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) questionnaire. Results: The patients' characteristics and obstetric data were similar in both groups. The ratings on the VAS indicated that the VR intervention was associated with significantly less pain than the ratings in the standard of care group; namely, 2.5 ± 1.5 vs. 3.8 ± 1.7, respectively (95 % CI 0.44–2.13; p = 0.003). There were no significant differences in maternal anxiety levels before and after amniocentesis. Conclusion: The VR intervention as a distractive technique emerged as effective in reducing pain during amniocentesis. It is easy to use, relatively inexpensive, has the advantage of no serious side effects, and may decrease the fear of pain that can affect patients' experiences and compliance with this procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
StatePublished - Jun 2021


FundersFunder number
Revital Yeger and Miriam Abramov


    • Amniocentesis
    • Anxiety
    • Pain
    • VAS
    • Virtual reality


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