for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Tamara Horwich, MD, MS (ucla)



The purpose of the research is to evaluate the feasibility and scalability of delivering a 30-minute novel virtual reality (VR) experience through the Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality headset with the aim of measuring changes in: 1) patient-reported stress levels on a survey, 2) blood pressure, 3)heart rate, 4) respiration rate 5) heart rate variability 6) and galvanic skin response in cardiology clinic and cardiac rehabilitation patients.

Official Title

Pilot Study: Virtual Reality Experience for Stress Reduction in Cardiology Patients


After consenting to participate, participants will be asked to complete a pre-experience questionnaire. The investigators will ask participants questions to evaluate their general and current state of stress as well as gather some baseline health information. Although the questionnaires ask questions about anxiety, they are being conducted for research purposes, so if participants are feeling anxious they should discuss this with their primary care provider or other doctor. The investigators think it should take about 5 minutes to complete the pre-experience questionnaire. If participants feel uncomfortable or embarrassed answering any question, they may skip it. The questionnaire will not contain any information that could be used to identify yparticipants. If participants do not feel comfortable answering surveys then this would result in withdrawal from the study. Participants would be politely notified of your withdrawal and not complete the study. Participants will then place the VR headset over their head along with over the ear headphones. The research member will ensure safety and comfort then instruct participant how to begin the experience through the headset. The experience includes relaxing images, shapes, and colors that change and evolve slowly. These visuals are also paired with music, which can be adjusted at the start of the experience with the assistance of the researcher (participant will not have to control sound or light). Participants will not have a choice as to the content viewed during this experience. If at any time during the experience participant would like to stop, you may feel free to signal to the researcher, ask to stop, or just remove the headset and headphones. After completion of the experience, participants will be asked to complete a post-experience survey. Investigators think this should take about 5 minutes to complete. Investigators will again ask about stress levels. Investigators will also gather feedback from participant about thoughts and attitudes towards the VR experience for stress reduction and potential usefulness in cardiac rehabilitation. Physiological measures will be collected and monitored as follows: The heart rate and heart rate variability will be monitored via the PolarH10 heart rate monitor and chest strap and transmitted to the safely encrypted computer/tablet. There will be no info transmitted with the data aside from the time/date of the collecting. This will be a continuous recording from 5 minutes after you sit down to complete the survey until 5 minutes after the experience. The blood pressure cuff will be used 3 times: 5 minutes after you sit down but prior to the experience, at 15 minutes during the experience, and at the end of the experience. Respiratory rate will be observed by the researcher while you enter the survey data, and every 10 minutes during the experience, then as you complete the post-survey for a total of 5 measurements. The galvanic skin response (sweat gland activity) sensor will be placed at the same time as the heart rate monitor and will provide continuous monitoring for 5 minutes prior to the start of the experience and 5 minutes post-experience.


Stress Blood Pressure Virtual Reality Prevention 30-minute Virtual Reality (VR) Experience delivered through Oculus Quest 2 VR headset


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Current patient in UCLA Cardiology clinics and/or cardiac rehab
  • English speaking
  • Able to give informed consent

You CAN'T join if...

  • history of seizure
  • facial injury preventing safe placement of headset, significant visual or hearing impairment (as defined as not able to see/hear clearly even with corrective lenses/aids).
  • Individuals with dangerous, unstable arrhythmias (VTACH/VFIB) and/or MI in past 4 week, or individuals in acute decompensated heart failure
  • respiratory issues, postural instability, and motion sickness


  • Clinical and Translational Research Center, 10833 Le Conte suite BE144 - CHS building accepting new patients
    Los Angeles California 90095 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Tamara Horwich, MD, MS (ucla)
    HS Clinical Professor, Medicine. Authored (or co-authored) 96 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Los Angeles
Study Type
Expecting 25 study participants
Last Updated