Publication Date

Spring 2021

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Robin Whitney


Virtual Reality in stem cell transplant


The purpose of this QI project was to evaluate the effects of virtual reality (VR) on symptom distress experienced by individuals receiving an allogenic stem cell transplant. Allogenic transplants are associated with a moderate to high risk for distressing symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and pain. VR targets multiple sensory modalities, including auditory, visual or haptic experiences, by using computer-generated scenarios, which can interact with an individual and possibly diminish unpleasant symptoms. Twenty individuals aged 19 to 70 years (median age of 56.5 years) who were hospitalized in an academic setting received VR up to two sessions a week for two weeks. Before and after each session, the participant completed the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale Revised (ESAS-r) to evaluate their symptom distress. Paired t-tests were conducted and showed significant improvement in eight out of the ten symptoms addressed in ESAS-r (depression, anxiety, tiredness, drowsiness, appetite, pain, quality of life, and wellbeing). Nausea and shortness of breath had no significant improvements. These findings suggest VR is a novel intervention to treat distressing symptoms in a hospital setting and warrant future investigations exploring VR’s impact on prolonged hospitalizations related to distressing symptoms.

Included in

Other Nursing Commons


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