WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- A mixed reality playkit may help children prepare for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and reduce the need for anesthesia, according to a study published online Nov. 7 in BMJ Innovations.
Jill Thompson, from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and colleagues describe the development of a playkit that uses augmented/virtual reality combined with physical play to reduce the incidence of general anesthesia for children (ages 4 to 10 years) undergoing MRI, as well as some early acceptability testing with children.
The researchers reported that the kit allows for familiarization with the MRI scanner, opportunities to practice staying still, preparation for high noise levels, and simulation of the entire MRI process through a series of interactive games, which reduce anxiety levels for patients and their parents/caregivers. Interview data revealed that the playkit helped some children (and their parents/caregivers) to prepare to undertake an MRI and also helped to relieve anxiety during the scan.
"Following the positive qualitative results of this local project, we suggest a clinical trial across anesthetic departments nationally and internationally, and we encourage the uptake and rollout of the MRI playkit on a wider scale," the authors write.