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The Eeffect Of Visual Stimuli On Pain Threshold And Tolerance

1215 words - 5 pages

In recent years there has been increased interest in the association between pain and anxiety. There has also been increased researched in the effectiveness of non-pharmacologic interventions used in conjunction with medications to relieve pain and anxiety. For many hospitalized patients, anxiety is brought on by pain and unfamiliar sights and sounds. The authors of this study wished to investigate whether blocking sights and sounds of the hospital would produce a more pleasing environment to the patient, therefore reducing pain and anxiety.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of visual stimuli on pain threshold and tolerance. Threshold was defined as the time when pain was initially felt, while tolerance was defined as the time when pain was reported as unacceptable. Their hypothesis was supported by the concluding data. The authors hypothesized that visual stimuli could provide a distraction to pain, consequently altering the subjects perception of pain.
The study was designed to imitate a 1994 study by Janal. This study tested the pain threshold and tolerance of American college-age students in a similar manor. For this particular study, the authors employed a randomized, controlled study. Approval was received from the Human Subjects Ethics Subcommittee of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. All subjects were informed of the purpose and procedure of the study and informed consent was received. Participants were free to exit the study at any time. Forty-six Chinese university students in good general health were recruited. The subjects were randomly assigned to two groups. Group V participants watched a soundless video displaying nature scenes. Group B participants watched a static blank screen. The tests took place individually over two days. The groups were switched on the second day. Subjects were asked to focus on the screen while a tourniquet was applied to the arm induce the sensation of pain. Sensation was to be reported every 20 seconds on a rating scale: 0= nothing and 6= intolerable. Maximum inflation duration was 10 minutes or when the participant requested to stop.
The random, controlled study displayed that visual stimuli significantly increased pain threshold and tolerance, therefore supporting the hypothesis. Pain threshold with visual stimuli increased from 109 to 145 seconds. Similarly, pain tolerance increased from 310 to 393 seconds. There was no significant difference found between genders. Also, sequence of visual stimuli had no effect in regard to pain threshold and tolerance. These results support the gate control theory of pain which suggests that cognitive activity alters pain perception.
Clinical Relationship
I selected this study because of its focus on alternative pain treatment in conjunction with medication to aleviate pain and anxiety. The article stated that studies have found that fifty percent of patients describe their pain relief as...

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