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PMVOCVR: Virtual Reality Therapy for Vaso-Occlusive Crisis in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease

About this study

Sickle cell disease is a painful group of blood disorders that prevent normal blood flow in the body. Patients with sickle cell disease take pain medicines to treat acute and chronic pain that occurs with their disease. Some patients get complete relief from routine pain medicines. Other patients need to take medicine longer or have more doses of medicine before the pain goes away completely.

Long-term use of pain medicines is associated with a risk for addiction or tolerance in which drugs no longer reduce pain. To reduce these risks, doctors have tried other methods to treat sickle cell disease pain. Virtual reality therapy is an option that provides a computer-generated, relaxing environment for patients. It works by distracting the patient’s attention from the pain. In this study, doctors want to see if VR therapy reduces pain in sickle cell patients experiencing an acute pain crisis.

Purpose of this clinical trial

The main goal of this clinical trial is to find out how well virtual reality therapy lessens acute pain in sickle cell patients. Researchers also want to see if patients use less pain medicine when they are treated with virtual reality therapy.

Eligibility overview

  • Between 6 and 25 years old
  • Diagnosed with sickle cell disease
  • Seeking care for acute vaso-occlusive crisis pain at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Methodist Healthcare
  • Speaks English

The above information is intended to provide only a basic description about a research protocol that may be currently active at St. Jude. The details made available here may not be the most up-to-date information on protocols used by St. Jude. To receive full details about a protocol and its status and or use at St. Jude, a physician must contact St. Jude directly.


Full title:

Pain Management of Vaso-Occlusive Crisis in Children and Young Adults With Sickle Cell Disease-Effect of Virtual Reality Technology

Study goal:

The main goal of this clinical trial is to find out how well virtual reality therapy lessens acute pain in sickle cell patients.


Sickle cell disease


Between 6 and 25 years old

Clinical trials categories:

Blood Disorders Sickle Cell Disease

For physicians and researchers

Patients accepted to St. Jude must be referred by a physician or other qualified medical professional. Learn how St. Jude can partner with you to care for your patient.


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