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Published Online: 3 June 2014

Future Directions: Advances and Implications of Virtual Environments Designed for Pain Management

Publication: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume 17, Issue Number 6


Pain symptoms have been addressed with a variety of therapeutic measures in the past, but as we look to the future, we begin encountering new options for patient care and individual health and well-being. Recent studies indicate that computer-generated graphic environments—virtual reality (VR)—can offer effective cognitive distractions for individuals suffering from pain arising from a variety of physical and psychological illnesses. Studies also indicate the effectiveness of VR for both chronic and acute pain conditions. Future possibilities for VR to address pain-related concerns include such diverse groups as military personnel, space exploration teams, the general labor force, and our ever increasing elderly population. VR also shows promise to help in such areas as drug abuse, at-home treatments, and athletic injuries.

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Published In

cover image Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume 17Issue Number 6June 2014
Pages: 414 - 422
PubMed: 24892206


Published online: 3 June 2014
Published in print: June 2014


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Brenda K. Wiederhold
Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.
Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California.
Ahmad Soomro
NousMetrix, San Diego, California.
Giuseppe Riva
Catholic University, Milan, Italy.
Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy.
Mark D. Wiederhold
Virtual Reality Medical Center, San Diego, California.


Address correspondence to:Prof. Brenda K. WiederholdVirtual Reality Medical Institute30 Clos Chapelle aux Champs, Box 1.30301200 BrusselsBelgium
E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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