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Nurse placing virtual reality headset on patient

Virtual Reality for Pain and Anxiety Management

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Since project planning began in late 2017, over 450 sessions have been completed in multiple patient areas, 66% of participating Veterans experienced a decrease in acute and/or chronic pain, and a 94% of Veterans experienced a decrease in Stress/Anxiety levels. Virtual Reality as a distraction modality utilizes three-dimensional, computer-generated environments and 360-degree video footage in an immersive head-mounted display to transport Veterans to a world where their negative stressors do not exist. Virtual environments include interactive games, peaceful natural environments, and 360 degree videos. This capability enables licensed clinical staff to aid Veterans with pain and anxiety management, improve relaxation, and make the experience of being in a healthcare facility a more positive one.

This innovation is replicating across multiple facilities as its impact continues to be validated. See more replicating innovations.


3 successful, 1 in-progress

Awards and Recognition:

ANCC Pathway Award, iNET Spread Investee, FedHealth IT Award, VHA Shark Tank Winner


Diffusion of Excellence, VHA Innovators Network, XR Network



  • Over 450 VR sessions completed
  • 94% experienced a reduction in anxiety
  • 66% experienced a reduction in pain intensity on the DVPRS pain scale
  • 96% would recommend VR to their fellow Veterans
  • 92.4% stated a VR session improved their overall experience at this facility
  • 69.6% stated VR aided with their pain (regardless of DVPRS pain score)

Diffusion tracker

Does not include Clinical Resource Hubs (CRH)


WV: Beckley VA Medical Center (Beckley)
  • Started adoption on 03/2022.

There are no unsuccessful adoptions for this innovation.