Virtual reality for patients

A new study involving the use of virtual reality (VR) headsets has started at The Royal Marsden.

The SafeSpace study, supported by Macmillan, will investigate whether VR technology could help improve cancer patients’ wellbeing and reduce their stress and anxiety when undergoing treatment. Lead researchers Professor Theresa Wiseman, Lisa Murray and Geraldine O’Gara will provide ‘compassionate mind training’ (CMT) to 20 participants through VR headsets, which they hope will help patients to relax and allow them to learn coping tactics.

Professor Wiseman, Lead for Health Services Research, whose role is funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, said: “We are the only trust in the UK to deliver CMT through VR headsets. “With the cost of VR technology falling, this could be a cost-effective solution used across the country.”

VR technology could help to reduce stress and anxiety during treatment.