LOS ANGELES--Visitors to the Exhibitors Hall at this years
ASCO meeting had the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a patient
with cancer-related fatigue at Ortho-Biotechs In My Steps
virtual reality experience, developed in cooperation with cancer
patients and the Fatigue Coalition.
For this virtual journey, you sit in a special chair outfitted with
pedals. A technician fits you with a virtual reality helmet (see Figure)
that places you in the simulated house, and in the shoes, of a
fatigued cancer patient. Using the pedals to "walk" and a
hand-guided pointer to direct your movements, you guide the patient
through simple tasks made challenging by the resistant pedals that
slow your steps. Just making a cup of tea becomes maddeningly
difficult as the kettle whistles, the doorbell rings, and an
impatient delivery man leaves before you can reach the door. The
experience, of course, cannot simulate the debilitating fatigue that
many cancer patients describe. In one survey, 29% said they had
difficulty just getting out of bed, and 24% were too tired to eat. It
does, however, reveal the frustrations such patients feel.
In My Steps is traveling to cancer centers as part of 1-day
fatigue awareness workshops for physicians and nurses. To schedule an
event, call 1-800-776-2748.