Dr Natalie Tuck, Senior Research Fellow, Auckland University of Technology and Waitematā DHB Chronic Pain Service, Auckland, NZ

Natalie is a Health Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow at the Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute at Auckland University of Technology, and the Pain Management Unit at the Waitematā DHB. After completing her post graduate training and PhD at the University of Auckland, Natalie worked for several years the Auckland Regional Pain Service. Natalie’s current research interests include the prevention of chronic post-surgical pain, pain in chronic pancreatitis, and using virtual reality in the treatment of chronic pain. Natalie is also on the council of the New Zealand Pain Society and editor of Ngau Mamae, the quarterly publication of the New Zealand Pain Society.



Virtual Reality in Chronic Pain and Rehabilitation Settings

  1. Tuck1,2,3, C. Pollard1,2, & D. Bean2,3
  2. The Auckland Regional Pain Service, Auckland District Health Board
  3. The Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology
  4. The Department of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Waitematā District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand

Virtual reality (VR) has growing support as a pain-relieving tool in both acute and chronic pain settings and has been used to facilitate rehabilitation across diverse conditions including stroke, cerebral palsy, and phantom pain. However, the applications of VR go beyond pain relief, and active VR games may be useful for reducing fear of movement and improving physical function in chronic pain and other rehabilitation settings. This presentation will describe the evidence base and potential applications for the use of VR in chronic pain and rehabilitation settings, and present findings from a trial that was run at The Auckland Regional Pain Service comparing an active VR intervention using immersive games to encourage full body movements with standard physiotherapy treatment.


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