Editor's Corner

Utilizing Virtual Reality to Ease Pediatric Pain and Suffering

Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH, FAAP
Francis Kraemer, MD
T. Anthony Anderson, MD, PhD
Amy B. Beethe, MD
Jason Brown, MD
Eugene Kim, MD
Galaxy Li, MD
Chang Amber Liu, MD, MSc, FAAP
Diana Liu, MD
Rebecca L. Wu, MD

Welcome to the summer edition of the 2021 Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine (SPPM) Newsletter. Under our SPPM President, Dr. Robert Wilder, and the Board of Directors’ remarkable leadership, our medical Society continues to grow, develop new Society initiatives, encourage pain research, enhance member education, and improve patient care.

Dr. Marisa Wiktor organized a wonderful Eighth SPPM Annual Meeting which took place April 23 – 25, 2021, and was our first virtual meeting. The conference had a record high attendance and was exceptionally well-received. In this newsletter, we are fortunate to have Drs. Galaxy Li, Maria Matuszczak, Ashlee Holman, Elizabeth Ross, James Mooney, Alyson Hermé, and Alvina Rosales provide us with an outstanding review of the meeting. In addition, we also invited the poster award winners to share their invaluable state-of-the-art research with SPPM members.

In this special edition of the SPPM Newsletter, we invited experts of virtual reality to discuss the role of  virtual reality in pediatric pain management. Virtual reality has been shown to be effective in lessening pediatric pain and distress for procedural and acute pain management in both inpatient and outpatient locations. Drs. Sam Rodriguez, Thomas Caruso, and Charles Lee address the use of virtual reality for acute and chronic pediatric pain management. An expert article was presented by Dr. Deirdre Logan, “Worlds Away from Pain: Developing Virtual Reality-based Interventions for Pediatric Pain Management.” Dr. Paul Leong reflects on using virtual reality for acute procedural pain and its associated challenges. Drs. Vanessa Olbrecht and Keith O’Conor describe the use of guided-relaxation based virtual reality to manage post-surgical pain and anxiety in children. These experts’ opinions are invaluable resources towards utilizing virtual reality to manage pediatric pain

Also in this issue, we are privileged to have Drs. Nellie Forman and Samuel Yanofsky introduce “Learner Motivation and Self-Determination Theory in Medical Education.”  Effective education consists of teaching and learning. As educators, we need to stimulate our trainees’ intrinsic motivation to learn. The goal is to cultivate students’ resilience, motivation and inspire them to continuously expand their own knowledge base.  Reinforcing these concepts can help us serve as more effective clinician educators.

The SPPM Newsletter belongs to all SPPM members. The Editorial Board members are all volunteer officers. The SPPM Editorial Board values your input and appreciates your contributions. We are grateful for your encouragement and support. While our Society is recovering from the pandemic, we hope you have a wonderful summer.  Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions, thoughts, suggestions, or comments:  Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH, FAAP:  [email protected].

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