Children scheduled for elective surgery under general anaesthesia were randomized into a control or VR group. The control group received conventional information regarding anaesthesia and surgery. The VR group watched a 4-min video showing Pororo, the famous little penguin, visiting the operating theatre and explaining what is in it. The main outcome was preoperative anxiety, assessed using the modified Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale (m-YPAS) before entering the operating theatre. Secondary outcomes included induction compliance checklist (ICC) and procedural behaviour rating scale (PBRS) scores during anaesthesia.
A total of 69 children were included in the analysis, 35 in the control group and 34 in the VR group. Demographic data and induction time were similar in the two groups. Children in the VR group had a significantly lower m-YPAS score than those in the control group (median 31·7 (i.q.r. 23·3–37·9) and 51·7 (28·3–63·3) respectively; P < 0·001). During anaesthesia, the VR group had lower ICC and PBRS scores than the control group.
This preoperative VR tour of the operating theatre was effective in alleviating preoperative anxiety and increasing compliance during induction of anaesthesia in children undergoing elective surgery. Registration number: UMIN000025232 (http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr).