The Effect of Virtual Reality and Hugo Point Massage on the Pain and Anxiety of School-aged Children with Cancer: Crossover Clinical Trial

The Open Nursing Journal 16 Nov 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118744346248844231003110642



Venipuncture and peripheral intravenous cannulation are two of the most common invasive procedures in children that generate pain and distress. Previous studies have confirmed the effect of distraction and acupressure on reducing pain and anxiety in children; however, the effectiveness of these two methods has not been compared.


The aim of this study was to compare Virtual Reality and Hugo point massage on the pain and anxiety of children.


This crossover study was conducted in the oncology unit of a children’s hospital. Participants included 30 children aged 6-12 with cancer who were randomly assigned to one of the three groups: (routine, Virtual Reality, and acupressure). All children experienced these three methods. The scores of children’s pain (VAS scale) and anxiety (FAS scale) were measured.


The result showed that the Virtual Reality method significantly reduced pain and anxiety compared to Hugo’s point method (P <0.001).

Implications for Nursing:

According to the present study, non-pharmacological methods such as Hugo point massage and virtual reality were effective in reducing pain and anxiety in school-aged children. Therefore, nursing managers can encourage nurses to use these methods based on the child's preferences to relieve the pain by providing the necessary facilities and equipment. Furthermore, they can increase nurses' knowledge by introducing new pain management methods in children through workshops.


The present study showed that VR and Hugo’s point massage were effective ways to reduce pain and anxiety resulting from intravenous cannulation in school-age children.

Clinical Trial Registration Number: IRCT20100823004617N14.

Keywords: Virtual reality, Hugo point, Pain, Anxiety, Children, Cancer.
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