Background: Although some studies have reported evidence of the effectiveness of virtual-reality interventions implemented for children undergoing intravenous (IV) cannulation, children's perceptions of virtual-reality interventions implemented during IV cannulation warrant further exploration. Aims: To explore the school-aged children's perceptions of interactive virtual-reality interventions implemented before and after IV cannulation. Methods: A qualitative descriptive study was adopted. Sixty-nine children aged 6–12 years from two medical centers were recruited and interviewed from June to September 2020. After the completion of the immersive virtual-reality scene of IV cannulation before undergoing actual IV cannulation and the emotionally cathartic virtual-reality play after the placement process, individual interviews were conducted with the children in the paediatric wards. Inductive content analysis was performed to analyse children's perceptions. The study complied with the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research. Results: Three categories related to children's perception of interactive virtual-reality interventions implemented before and after IV cannulation were identified: (1) feelings towards and coping strategies employed during IV cannulation; (2) mental preparation through immersion in the virtual-reality scene; and (3) healing effects of immersive cathartic play. Conclusions: The findings indicate that interactive virtual-reality interventions can help hospitalised children mentally prepare for medical procedures, obtain knowledge regarding such procedures, and overcome their fear of needles. The children's reported perceptions of the virtual-reality interventions indicated that the interventions were age-appropriate, safe and fun. The results of this study highlight the need to more thoroughly understand the perceptions of hospitalised children and may serve as a reference for designing child-friendly care interventions for nursing practice.
- intravenous cannulation
- virtual reality