The Effect of Mirroring Display of Virtual Reality Tour of the Operating Theatre on Preoperative Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial

IEEE J Biomed Health Inform. 2019 Nov;23(6):2655-2660. doi: 10.1109/JBHI.2019.2892485. Epub 2019 Jan 11.


A virtual reality (VR) tour of the operating theatre could reduce preoperative anxiety by providing a realistic experience for children. This randomized clinical trial was designed to determine whether parental co-experience of preoperative VR tour through a mirroring display could further reduce preoperative anxiety. Eighty children scheduled for elective surgery under general anesthesia were randomly allocated into either the control or mirroring group. Children in the control group watched a 4-min immersive VR video showing the operating theatre and explaining the preoperative process, via a head mounted display. In the mirroring group, parents of children watched the same video through mirroring display concurrently while their child experienced the immersive VR tour. Preoperative anxiety and satisfaction score were measured. Eighty children completed the final analysis (control group = 40 and mirroring group = 40). Preoperative anxiety of children (p = 0.025) and parents (p = 0.009) were lower in the mirroring group compared with the control group. Parents' satisfaction in the mirroring group was significantly higher than those in the control group (p = 0.008). Parental co-experience of the VR tour with children through mirroring the display was effective in reducing preoperative anxiety in both children and parents.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety* / prevention & control
  • Anxiety* / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Operating Rooms*
  • Parents
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / psychology
  • Virtual Reality*