Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

Creating healing environments in hospitals: Stress reduction during bronchoscopy through a Virtual Reality head mounted display with nature stimuli.

Type thesis                                      Ba

In– of external?:                              Both

Hoeveel studenten mogelijk?          1 or 2

Data collection                                yes

Type research                                  clinical trial, quantitative, mixed-methods



Research shows that exposure to nature images has beneficial effects on patients’ well-being, both mentally and physically, contributing to recovery. This study aims at improving the experience and individuals undergoing bronchoscopy, a highly invasive, uncomfortable, and stressfull procedure. By applying a head mounted device (HMD) with VR images and sounds of nature scenes, stress is reduced during the procedure.

In this pilot study a total of 40 patients will participate, divided into 3 groups: two experimental groups receiving two different nature scenes, and a control group not wearing the HMD.

Primary outcomes are. Self-reported anxiety and stress, discomfort, en perceived duration (all measured directly post-procedure) and physiological parameters for stress collected with a wearable.


This thesis builds on two previous theses in which 19 patients were enrolled in both experimental arms. In the current thesis we will recruit control patients only to complete the third study arm. These patients will therefore not wear the HMD, only measurements will be taken, including self-reported and physiological data.

As the infrastructure for this study (including ethical approval) is already available, students will be able to start data collection soon. This study is located at the MST hospital in Enschede, at the Pulmonary outpatient clinic.


What do we expect?:

Students with:

·       Sufficient skill in Dutch spoken language (to communicate with patients and staff)

·       A flexible schedule during the data collection period (March, April; patients usually are scheduled for their procedure in the morning, and these are often planned one or two days prior to that).

·       Interest in working with physiological data


What do we offer?:

A position with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with working in a clinical hospital setting



Marcel Pieterse (

Thomas van Rompay (



De Kort, Y. A. W., Meijnders, A. L., Sponselee, A. A. G., & IJsselsteijn, W. A. (2006). What's wrong with virtual trees? Restoring from stress in a mediated environment. J of Env Psychol, 26(4), 309-320.

Dijkstra, K., Pieterse, M., Pruyn, A. (2006). Physical environmental stimuli that turn healthcare facilities into healing environments: systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 56(2), 166-182.

Dijkstra, K., Pieterse, M.E. Pruyn, A.T.T. (2008). Stress-reducing effects of indoor plants in the built healthcare environment: the mediating role of perceived attractiveness. Preventive Medicine, 47: 279-283.

Kaplan, S. , Berman, M.G. (2010). Directed attention as a common resource for executive functioning and self-regulation. Perspectives on Psychological Science  5(1): 43-57.

Ulrich, R.S. (1984). View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science 224; 420-421.

Previous theses on this project:

Jansen, E.M.M. (2017)

Boekel, I. Thesis

Rupert, K. Thesis