Kids go from needle phobia to having whale of a time

A world-first trial has found virtual reality can significantly reduce pain, distress and anxiety
Dr Paul Leong and Dr Evelyn Chan
Dr Paul Leong and paediatric research fellow Dr Evelyn Chan. Photo: Monash Health

An interactive underwater adventure is helping improve what can be a scary experience for children — procedures involving needles.

In a world-first trial, Monash Children’s Hospital and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne have found significant reductions in feelings of pain, distress and anxiety among children after using virtual reality technology as a distraction.