May 5, 2022

Impact of classical music virtual reality on burnout

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This study by nurse researchers at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, California, provides evidence that classical music virtual reality (VR) may reduce burnout in healthcare workers (HCWs).

A total of 71 HCWs completed 3 sessions of VR and took a baseline survey before engaging in VR and a postsurvey after all 3 sessions. Each VR session lasted about 5 minutes and was offered during assigned work breaks.

After use of the VR program, HCWs reported:

  • a significant decrease in burnout and secondary traumatic stress
  • significantly greater levels of compassion satisfaction in NICU HCWs
  • a significant increase in the Caring Ability Inventory capacity of caring component, “knowing”
  • significantly decreased State Trait Anxiety Inventory anxiety scores.

Of all the test components measured, however, burnout was the only measure to meet the Bonferroni statistical criterion of less than 0.007. A total of 87% of HCWs reported they would recommend this intervention to other HCWs.

More frequent participation and/or a longer duration of exposure to the intervention of classical music VR may be needed to significantly affect other outcomes, the researchers say.

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