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Title: Virtual Reality and Symptoms Management of Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue, and Pain: A Systematic Review
Authors: Ioannou, Androniki 
Papastavrou, Evridiki 
Avraamides, Marios N. 
Charalambous, Andreas 
Major Field of Science: Medical and Health Sciences
Field Category: Health Sciences
Keywords: Virtual reality;Anxiety;Depression;Fatigue;Pain
Issue Date: 2020
Source: SAGE Open Nursing, 2020, vol. 6, pp. 1–13
Volume: 6
Start page: 1
End page: 13
Journal: SAGE Open Nursing 
Abstract: In recent years, virtual reality (VR) has become an interesting alternative to traditional exposure-based therapies for many symptoms. VR involves immersion in a computer-generated virtual environment that minimizes avoidance and facilitates emotional processing. The objective of this systematic review is to evaluate evidence on the intervention effect of VR on anxiety, depression, fatigue, and pain. The research strategy of this systematic review included three electronic databases (MEDLINE/PubMed, Cochrane Library, and ScienceDirect) based on predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Published quantitative studies from 2000 to 2020 were identified, which examined the effect of VR intervention on four different symptoms related to symptoms experienced by cancer patients. Quality assessments, data extractions, and analysis were completed on all included studies. A total of 882 titles and abstracts were screened, and 23 studies were included in the review. The studies were grouped according to the symptoms: anxiety and depression, fatigue, and pain. The review showed that VR intervention is more effective compared with the control (i.e., standard care) for anxiety, depression, fatigue, and pain. VR can reduce effectively these symptoms in different contexts and diseases, including cancer. The evidence suggests that there is value in exploring this intervention as a potential crossover treatment for these symptoms in patients. This study contributes to evidence that distraction is an effective symptom management mechanism. The findings are congruent with the theoretical framework, supporting the premise that VR, as an emotion-focused distraction intervention, decreases the severity of these symptoms.
Description: The article was funded by the “CUT Open Access Author Fund”
ISSN: 23779608
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Type: Article
Affiliation : Cyprus University of Technology 
University of Cyprus 
Silversky3D Virtual Reality Technologies Ltd. 
University of Turku 
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

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