An Affective Computing in Virtual Reality Environments for Managing Surgical Pain and Anxiety
Prabhu, Vishnunarayan G.
Stanley, Laura M.
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Pain and anxiety are common accompaniments of surgery. About 90% of people indicate elevated levels of anxiety during pre-operative care, and 66% of the people report moderate to high levels of pain immediately after surgery. Currently, opioids are the primary method for pain management during postoperative care, and approximately one in 16 surgical patients prescribed opioids becomes a long-term user. This, along with the current opioid epidemic crisis calls for alternative pain management mechanisms. This research focuses on utilizing affective computing techniques to develop and deliver an adaptive virtual reality experience based on the user's physiological response to reduce pain and anxiety. Biofeedback is integrated with a virtual environment utilizing the user's heart rate variability, respiration, and electrodermal activity. Early results from Total Knee Arthroplasty patients undergoing surgery at Patewood Memorial Hospital in Greenville, SC demonstrate promising results in the management of pain and anxiety during pre and post-operative care.
V. G. Prabhu, C. Linder, L. M. Stanley and R. Morgan, "An Affective Computing in Virtual Reality Environments for Managing Surgical Pain and Anxiety," 2019 IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (AIVR), 2019, pp. 235-236, doi: 10.1109/AIVR46125.2019.00049.