• Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Feasibility study on the acceptability of a Virtual Reality Tour for patients referred for their first PET-CT scan



  • Contact name

    Michael Barnard

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • ISRCTN Number


  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 7 months, 30 days

  • Research summary

    Research Summary

    Every year a small percentage of patients that are referred for a PET/CT are unable to complete the procedure due to procedure related anxiety. Increasing work is being completed in the area of anxiety in PET/CT and this study hope to provide a possible tool in improving the patient experience. As PET/CT involves the use of a radioactive tracer, patients that have the injection but then fail to finish the scan due to anxiety will receive the radiation detriment for no benefit. The project proposed will investigate whether a virtual tour constructed from 360 videos of the PET suite, and procedures that the patient would undergo (Virtual Reality (VR) intervention), displayed on a VR Headset, could be used to improve patient experience. The VR tour is very much like the virtual tours that estate agents use to showcase properties. Anxiety will be measured using heart rate as the main measure but an optional inhouse designed anxiety questionnaire before and once again after the
    intervention will be completed. The second measure will be taken 10 minutes before the patients actual PET/CT scan. This is a pilot study;
    therefore, the primary aim is to assess the acceptability and feasibility of the VR tour. The secondary optional anxiety measure may be used to inform and appropriately power a larger trial and provide additional information to existing knowledge in literature.

    Summary of Results

    The trial was setup to assess the feasibility of the trial design before a larger participant and multisite trial as well as the acceptability of the Virtual Tour for PET-CT patients who have never had a PET-CT scan before. 20 adults, 10 male and 10 female with an mean age of ## participated. Mean experience score assessed with a scale from 1 to 5 (1=poor, 5= excellent) was 4.3 and a mean benefit score assessed with a scale from 1 to 5 (1=no benefit, 5=could not have done the PET-CT scan without the Virtual Tour) was 3.1. Heart rate measured during the Virtual Tour was compared with heart rate measure during the first 8 minutes of the actual PET-CT. A statistically significant reduction in heart rate was observed between those two measurements. A statistically significant reduction in the anxiety score (pre Virtual Tour compared with post Virtual Tour) was also observed. The Virtual Tour has the potential to reduce procedural anxiety for patients having their first PET-CT scan.

  • REC name

    London - Dulwich Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    9 Feb 2023

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion