Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Carr, Donald William

Second Advisor

Prochner, Isabel


Anxiety, CHD, Children, Congenital Heart Disease, Healthcare, VR

Subject Categories

Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Surgery


Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) often need to bear great anxiety related to various invasive surgeries and medical procedures. In a study of virtual reality technology in the medical industry, I found that it has great development potential in reducing children's anxiety. Therefore, the goals of this thesis project were to use virtual reality technology to reduce anxiety for children with CHD. Using previous research of anxiety in children with CHD and the solutions to children's anxiety in various hospitals, this thesis summarizes the design directions. Then, through interviews with pediatric cardiologists, child development experts, and children with coronary heart disease with their parents, I determine the design elements to help children with CHD reduce anxiety. Finally, this article puts forward a preoperative education design about fantasy adventure stories based on this research. The final design is a picture book and VR experience that will be employed at various moments leading up to CHD surgeries. The adventure story can help reduce children's anxiety through education and by diverting their attention.


Open Access



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