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Feb 23, 2007

VR in stroke rehabilitation

Assessment and training in a 3-dimensional virtual environment with haptics: a report on 5 cases of motor rehabilitation in the chronic stage after stroke.

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2007 Jun;21(2):180-9

Authors: Broeren J, Rydmark M, Björkdahl A, Sunnerhagen KS

OBJECTIVE: . This exploratory study assessed the possible effectiveness of hemiparetic upper extremity training in subjects with chronic stroke with computer instrumentation (haptic force feedback) and 3-dimensional visualization applied to computer games, as well as to evaluate concurrent computer-assisted assessment of the kinematics of movements and test whether any improvement detected in the computer environment was reflected in activities of daily living (ADLs). METHODS: . A single-subject repeated-measures experimental design (AB) was used. After baseline testing, 5 patients were assigned to the therapy 3 times a week for 45 min for 5 weeks. Velocity, time needed to reach, and hand path ratio (reflecting superfluous movements) were the outcome measures, along with the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills and the Box and Block test. The follow-up phase (C) occurred 12 weeks later. RESULTS: . Improvements were noted in velocity, time, and hand path ratio. One patient showed improvement in occupational performance in ADLs. CONCLUSIONS: .The application of this strategy of using virtual reality (VR) technologies may be useful in assessing and training stroke patients. The results of this study must be reproduced in further studies. The VR systems can be placed in homes or other nonclinical settings.

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