This pilot study investigated the use of virtual reality (VR) in laboring women. Twenty-seven women were observed for equivalent time during unmedicated contractions in the first stage of labor both with and without VR (order balanced and randomized). Numeric rating scale scores were collected after both study conditions. Significant decreases in sensory pain -1.5 (95% CI, -0.8 to -2.2), affective pain -2.5 (95% CI, -1.6 to -3.3), cognitive pain -3.1 (95% CI, -2.4 to -3.8), and anxiety -1.5 (95% CI, -0.8 to -2.3) were observed during VR. Results suggest that VR is a potentially effective technique for improving pain and anxiety during labor.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02926469.