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BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 779.
Published online Sep 13, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-779
PMCID: PMC3490878
A survey of visually induced symptoms and associated factors in spectators of three dimensional stereoscopic movies
Angelo G Solimini,corresponding author1 Alice Mannocci,1 Domitilla Di Thiene,1 and Giuseppe La Torre1
1Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazza Aldo Moro, 5, 00185, Rome, Italy
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Angelo G Solimini: angelo.solimini/at/uniroma1.it; Alice Mannocci: alice.mannocci/at/uiniroma1.it; Domitilla Di Thiene: dotilla/at/libero.it; Giuseppe La Torre: giuseppe.latorre/at/uniroma1.it
Received January 30, 2012; Accepted August 31, 2012.
Abstract
Background
The increasing popularity of commercial movies showing three dimensional (3D) computer generated images has raised concern about image safety and possible side effects on population health.
This study aims to (1) quantify the occurrence of visually induced symptoms suffered by the spectators during and after viewing a commercial 3D movie and (2) to assess individual and environmental factors associated to those symptoms.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was carried out using a paper based, self administered questionnaire. The questionnaire includes individual and movie characteristics and selected visually induced symptoms (tired eyes, double vision, headache, dizziness, nausea and palpitations). Symptoms were queried at 3 different times: during, right after and after 2 hours from the movie.
Results
We collected 953 questionnaires. In our sample, 539 (60.4%) individuals reported 1 or more symptoms during the movie, 392 (43.2%) right after and 139 (15.3%) at 2 hours from the movie. The most frequently reported symptoms were tired eyes (during the movie by 34.8%, right after by 24.0%, after 2 hours by 5.7% of individuals) and headache (during the movie by 13.7%, right after by 16.8%, after 2 hours by 8.3% of individuals). Individual history for frequent headache was associated with tired eyes (OR = 1.34, 95%CI = 1.01-1.79), double vision (OR = 1.96; 95%CI = 1.13-3.41), headache (OR = 2.09; 95%CI = 1.41-3.10) during the movie and of headache after the movie (OR = 1.64; 95%CI = 1.16-2.32). Individual susceptibility to car sickness, dizziness, anxiety level, movie show time, animation 3D movie were also associated to several other symptoms.
Conclusions
The high occurrence of visually induced symptoms resulting from this survey suggests the need of raising public awareness on possible discomfort that susceptible individuals may suffer during and after the vision of 3D movies.
Keywords: Visually induced motion sickness, Cibersickness, Three dimensional (3D) movies
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