Virtual Reality, Debriefing and Chronic Pain

  • End date
    Aug 31, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Pittsburgh
Updated on 9 April 2023
chronic pain
back pain
pain reliever


This study will determine if occupational therapy or the combination of occupational therapy and virtual reality is the better treatment for chronic low back pain (CLBP)patients.


Chronic musculoskeletal pain is defined as persistent or recurrent pain lasting more than 3 months. Chronic pain is a complex and disabling physiological and psychosocial disorder that does not provide an adaptive or protective purpose. In chronic pain, the precipitating event (e.g., fracture, sprain, trauma) is healed, and yet excessive pain remains. In Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) people experience a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment via a computer headset. IVR has been used to treat acute pain, but there have been few focused studies on the effects of IVR on chronic pain. When people with chronic pain are in IVR, they become unaware of their body and tend to move normally. We would like to test to see if IVR has a lasting effect in this study. Thus, IVR has strong potential as an additional tool in an arsenal of treatments for chronic pain. This study will examine if IVR can reduce pain and other symptoms in people with chronic pain.

Condition Chronic Pain
Treatment Occupational therapy, Occupational Therapy +Virtual Reality
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05254509
SponsorUniversity of Pittsburgh
Last Modified on9 April 2023


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Ages 18 and older
Referred for chronic pain occupational therapy services at the UPMC Centers for Rehab Services Centre Commons site

Exclusion Criteria

Had a seizure, loss of awareness, or other symptom linked to an epileptic condition
Had virtual reality intervention within the last 3 months
Has sensory insensitivity such as hearing loss or low vision, as assessed by the PI
Has contagious disorder on the face, such as pink eye, that could be transmitted via the VR headset or has open areas on the face that would come in contact with the headset
Has a pacemaker or defibrillator
Insufficient upper extremity coordination to operate IVR controls, as assessed by the PI
Insufficient cognitive ability to answer questionnaires or learn to use the IVR, as assessed by the PI
Have a diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or unable to understand and/or respond in English
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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