Ischemic heart diseases are the infamous leading cause of death, accounting for as much as 16% of the total number of deaths worldwide (according to the 2019 WHO report). Myocardial infarction is a life-threatening condition that forces us to seek medical care and hospitalizetion. The unexpected and short stay in the hospital saves lives, but what after that? Including VR therapy in the necessary cardiac rehabilitation helps the patients deal with the challenges of post-infarction reality.
Patients with past myocardial infarction are confronted with fear. Fear for their own life. Even when the pain and symptoms of the episode itself are long gone, the fear and the question, “Will the heart attack happen again?” remain. The feeling of a looming threat of another heart attack is obviously worrying. The minimized hospitalization time of heart attack patients is also not conducive to taking care of the patient’s mental sphere. Virtual Reality therapy can assist patients in rehabilitation following a heart attack in coping with accompanying anxiety and depression.
Anxiety after a “heart attack”, albeit understandable, inhibits the healing process. Virtual Reality, which, when properly created, has a positive effect on the patient’s mental state, enabling the achievement of better effects of cardiac rehabilitation and thus forming and effective therapeutic aid.VR TierOne virtual therapy calms down, reduces anxiety, stress and motivates patients to fight for themselves. The patient’s motivation is of particular importances, preventing the patients from withdrawing from life and giving them the readiness to change these of their habits, which may lead them to another heart attack in the future. A patient motivated to rehabilitate is more willing to cooperate with therapists, which is beneficial for both parties. Motivation is what puts the patient on the right path to recovery.
A heart attack causes a wave of disordered emotions, when suddenly many aspects of the patient’s life must change: the diet, physical activity and the response to stressful situations in everyday life. Virtual therapy reduces mental tension, helping to develop ways of coping with stress. Stress delays recovery, and depression is a significant risk factor mentioned by both the American and European Cardiac Societies (AHA and ESC), increasing the incidence and mortality of cardiac diseases. Most patients are aware of the disastrous effects stress has on their hearts. Finding the time and place to introduce oneself in the condition of deep relaxation may prove challenging. The friendly virtual space gives us the possibility of finding a comfortable location to relax. Here and now, the chaos of external world disappears, and so do the unfamiliar walls and gazes. The racing thoughts and health concerns are gradually replaced by concentration and peace. The patient no longer solely a passive observer, but an active participant of the virtual therapy.
Inclusion of VR therapy in myocardial infarct rehabilitation, through the experience of deep relaxation, enables to keep the stress under control and lowers the blood pressure. Furthermore it is also so that the use of Virtual Reality makes the stay in medical facilities to be perceived as a more pleasant experience. This alternative form of therapy is effective, painless, improves mood and facilitates recovery. VR TierOne therapy will surely win the hearts of your patients.