The effect of virtual reality glasses against the fear of circumcision: A randomized controlled trial

The effect of virtual reality glasses during circumcision



Circumcision, Child, Fear, Pain, Virtual reality glasses


Background/Aim: Circumcision is an invasive operation that male children undergo in our country and some others. During this process, the child can experience fear, anxiety, and pain simultaneously. As a randomized controlled VR study, this research was conducted to determine the effect of virtual reality (VR) glasses on reducing fear/anxiety and pain during circumcision in children.

Methods: The study was conducted on 125 children (6-11 years old). The same healthcare team performed the circumcision of the children in both groups. The children were randomly split into VR and control groups. The children in the VR group, just before the circumcision, watched their preferred cartoon film via VR glasses. No additional procedure was applied to the children in the control group except for ordinary procedures in the hospital. The fear and pain status measured by Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale and Children Fair Scale of all the children were evaluated before and after the operation by the child, parents, and the observer. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, and t-tests analyzed the data.

Results: There was no significant difference between the groups regarding demographic characteristics such as age, BMI, previous hospitalization, and anesthetic drug used before the procedure of the children included in the study. Preoperative (VR = 1.03 (0.18), control = 1.05 (0.22)) and pre-procedural (VR = 2.61 (1.02), control = 2.33 (1.22)) fear levels were also similar (P > 0.05). After the procedure, it was determined that the mean duration of the procedure (365.36 (64.73) sec), crying time (21.31 (41.74) sec), and fear scores (0.36 (0.68)) of the children in the VR group were lower (P < 0.001). However, pain mean scores were similar (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: It is thought that watching a cartoon with VR glasses during the circumcision operation may be effective in reducing the child's fear level, crying, and operation time.


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Türkmen AS, Şahiner NC, Ateş Beşirik S, Uysal M. The effect of virtual reality glasses against the fear of circumcision: A randomized controlled trial: The effect of virtual reality glasses during circumcision. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2022 Jun. 30 [cited 2024 May 25];6(6):610-4. Available from: