Clinical Trial to Reduce Phantom Limb Pain using Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & Serious Gaming

Name of Study


Clinical Trial to Reduce Phantom Limb Pain using Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & Serious Gaming


Purpose of Study


Phantom limb pain, painful sensations that feel as if they originate from a missing limb, occurs after limb amputation for 50-80% of amputees and is associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as a decline in daily activities, sleep interference and a reduction in general quality of life.
Although more than 60 different treatments to reduce phantom limb pain have been proposed, controlled clinical trials on these treatments are scarce and tend to be of poor quality, meaning that we cannot tell for sure how effective these treatments are for reducing this type of pain.
This trial uses two treatments which are believed to be effective in reducing phantom limb pain and will examine if there is something about one treatment that is more effective than the other. Both of these treatments take advantage of modern advancements in computer technology by attempting to train the amputated limb using virtual reality.




Type of Study (observational/exploratory etc)

Clinical Trial


Are you recruiting participants for this trial?




Geographical location of study 


Galway & surrounding areas


Who can take part?

Amputees must be over 18, must have phantom limb pain – pain that feels as if it originates from their missing limb – and must have had their amputation over 6 months ago.


What will the participants be asked to do?


Participants in this trial will receive one of the two treatments. It is hoped that both treatments will reduce phantom limb pain but if one treatment does not give any improvement, participants will be offered the opportunity to try the other treatment.
The trial will consist of the use of computer software that uses augmented reality, virtual reality & computer gaming, as well as the placement of sticky electrodes (like would be used for an ECG) on the stump. This trial consists of 1 trial-assessment session and 15 treatment sessions, which will last approx. 2 hours each and can be completed once per week, twice per week or five times per week.
This clinical trial will take place at the beginning of 2019 in the School of Psychology, NUI Galway. 



Recruitment Start Date




Recruitment Finish Date




Study Duration

8 Months



This study is funded by:


Unfunded but is being carried out by the Centre For Pain Research, School of Psychology, NUI Galway.


For further information contact:


Paul O’Reilly








[email protected]