Pain and anxiety during vasectomies while distracting patients with video glasses or virtual reality glasses

Objective

To determine whether it is possible to reduce the amount of pain and anxiety experienced during a vasectomy by use of two?dimensional (2D) video glasses or virtual reality (VR) glasses during the vasectomy.

Patients and Methods

A non?randomised controlled trial was performed between October 2017 and March 2018. A total of 176 patients were planned for a vasectomy in an outpatient setting and 141 of these patients were divided sequentially into three groups: Control, 2D video glasses and VR glasses. Follow?up lasted 7 days. One patient was lost to follow?up. The main outcomes were pain (visual analogue scale [VAS] score 0–10) and anxiety ((VAS score 0–10), and State?Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults [STAI?AD] score 20–80) during the vasectomy. Data were compared using analysis of variance or chi?square measurements.

Results

No significant differences in pain were found (VAS score of 2 in all groups). The odds ratio (OR) and (95% confidence interval [CI]) in the 2D video glasses group was 1.15 (0.92–1.48) and in the VR group was 0.98 (0.76–1.26). Patients in the VR group experienced significantly more anxiety during the procedure (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.07–1.85). Also, patients without prior hospitalisation reported significantly more pain than patients with one or more hospitalisations (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.11–1.65).

Conclusions

The VR and 2D video glasses did not reduce pain or stress during the vasectomy. In the VR group, the anxiety levels during the procedure were even higher.