May 5, 2022

Impact of classical music virtual reality on burnout

By: Judy Mathias
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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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