University of Twente Student Theses


Psychological and physiological effects of virtual nature environments on well-being of bronchoscopy patients

Boekel, Imke (2018) Psychological and physiological effects of virtual nature environments on well-being of bronchoscopy patients.

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Abstract:Previous research shows beneficial effects of nature on well-being of health care patients. Patients undergoing bronchoscopy profit from nature exposure by reduction of stress, anxiety, and pain. Especially nature environments containing 'soft-fascination' (SF) elements appear to be beneficial. The present research aimed to examine the psychological and physiological effects of virtual nature environments varying in SF (high versus low) on stress, anxiety, and pain. Participants (N = 19) were exposed by a head-mounted display and headphones to nature images and sounds. Questionnaires measuring mood, arousal, discomfort, and pain were administered pretest, posttest, and at follow-up. Heart rate data (bpm) was recorded with an Empatica E4 device. Results showed no conclusive evidence, although qualitative analyses suggested beneficial effects of nature exposure in both conditions. Single-case heart rate analyses showed lower peaks during insertion and faster decreases after insertion during nature exposure, especially for participants low on SF. Furthermore, quantitative and qualitative results seemed to indicate more beneficial effects of nature low on SF on mental well-being and physiological recovery. Participants low on SF experienced less nervousness and discomfort after insertion and recalled experiences at follow-up were more positive. These findings demonstrate the potential beneficial impact of virtual nature on improving well-being during bronchoscopy, especially by nature low on SF. Future research might further clarify the role of nature exposure and SF to improve well-being of patients.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:44 medicine, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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