MRI Acoustic Noise-modulated Computer Animations for Patient Distraction and Entertainment With Application in Pediatric Psychiatric Patients


Magnetic Resonance Imaging




PURPOSE: To reduce patient anxiety caused by the MRI scanner acoustic noise. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We developed a simple and low-cost system for patient distraction using visual computer animations that were synchronized to the MRI scanner's acoustic noise during the MRI exam. The system was implemented on a 3T MRI system and tested in 28 pediatric patients with bipolar disorder. The patients were randomized to receive noise-synchronized animations in the form of abstract animations in addition to music (n = 13, F/M = 6/7, age = 10.9 ± 2.5 years) or, as a control, receive only music (n = 15, F/M = 7/8, age = 11.6 ± 2.3 years). After completion of the scans, all subjects answered a questionnaire about their scan experience and the perceived scan duration. RESULTS: The scan duration with multisensory input (animations and music) was perceived to be ~15% shorter than in the control group (43 min vs. 50 min, P < 0.05). However, the overall scan experience was scored less favorably (3.9 vs. 4.6 in the control group, P < 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: This simple system provided patient distraction and entertainment leading to perceived shorter scan times, but the provided visualization with abstract animations was not favored by this patient cohort.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Adolescents; Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Children; Hospital Setting; Mental Health; Mood Disorders; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Music and Imagery; Noninvasive Procedures; Questionnaires; Recorded Music Listening; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Acoustics; Adolescents; Anxiety; Bipolar Disorder; Children; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Noise; Patient Satisfaction; Photic Stimulation; Surveys and Questionnaires; Audiovisual; Magnetic resonance imaging; Multisensory integration; Perception

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type