Virtual reality headsets trialed for people with cystic fibrosis

Virtual reality headsets are being used as cystic fibrosis therapy.


The first of its kind in the UK, Llandough Hospital in Vale of Glamorgan is using virtual reality headsets for patients who have cystic fibrosis as a form of distraction therapy.

The trial in Llandough includes a virtual cycling experience that could urge patients to exercise as part of their treatment. Beth Clarke, one of the patients in Cardiff who trialed it, said: “It really does take you to somewhere else for a few minutes. A hospital stay is never going to be enjoyable, the staff here are brilliant, but who’s going to enjoy being in hospital? So it’s great to just get out and get taken to another place for just a short period of time.”

Cystic fibrosis affects approximately 400 people in Wales. The trial was done to lessen the pain level and anxiety among sufferers.

Anthony Phillips, another patient who has been going in and out of Llandough for treatment, said: “I was a bit sceptical of trying it, but when I did try it, it was good. It’s just a distraction that will take your mind elsewhere and when you’re cycling, you’re not going to get out of breath so much because your mind is elsewhere and you’re concentrating on something else.”

Dr. Jamie Duckers, consultant physician at the hospital, added: “Due to the nature of cystic fibrosis, it affects many organs of the body and our patients often have a really time consuming, complex daily regime of treatment, medication and physiotherapy.”

“That in combination with the fact that they’re usually quite a younger population and they’re very good on IT and tech involvement, so we thought it was a really good place to trial working the virtual reality with them.”

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