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3rd Brief literature update May 2013
Mohammad Al-Amri
May 15, 2013 - 2:02 pm
Member Since: May 8, 2013
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Some of the literature search for “virtual reality” + “rehabilitation”:

Tatla SK, Sauve K, Virji-Babul N, Holsti L, Butler C, Van Der Loos HF. “Evidence for outcomes of motivational rehabilitation interventions for children and adolescents with cerebral palsy: an American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine systematic review.”

doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12147


This study reviewed evidence regarding the effect of motivational rehabilitation interventions on outcomes in children with cerebral palsy. Six databases were searched for literature published up to May 2012. Included studies measured the purported motivating effects of motor-based rehabilitation interventions and the measured impact on outcomes. The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) systematic review methodology was used as a framework. Eight studies evaluated outcomes of studies using virtual reality interventions and one in a functional therapy context. Conflicting evidence from three (level II and level III) studies exists about the impact of these motivating interventions on motor outcomes measured in body functions. No statistical evidence regarding activity and participation outcomes exists. A single level II study found no significant difference in participants' motivation between motivational and conventional interventions. This review revealed a paucity of research on the effects of motivational interventions. Weaknesses include a lack of consistency in the examination of motivational interventions, limited use of definitions or theories to ground the concept of motivation, and reliance on non-validated methodological tools. This body of evidence would be strengthened by the use and development of robust outcome measures of motivation.



Avola D, Spezialetti M, Placidi G. “Design of an efficient framework for fast prototyping of customized human–computer interfaces and virtual environments for rehabilitation



Rehabilitation is often required after stroke, surgery, or degenerative diseases. It has to be specific for each patient and can be easily calibrated if assisted by human–computer interfaces and virtual reality. Recognition and tracking of different human body landmarks represent the basic features for the design of the next generation of human–computer interfaces. The most advanced systems for capturing human gestures are focused on vision-based techniques which, on the one hand, may require compromises from real-time and spatial precision and, on the other hand, ensure natural interaction experience. The integration of vision-based interfaces with thematic virtual environments encourages the development of novel applications and services regarding rehabilitation activities. The algorithmic processes involved during gesture recognition activity, as well as the characteristics of the virtual environments, can be developed with different levels of accuracy. This paper describes the architectural aspects of a framework supporting real-time vision-based gesture recognition and virtual environments for fast prototyping of customized exercises for rehabilitation purposes. The goal is to provide the therapist with a tool for fast implementation and modification of specific rehabilitation exercises for specific patients, during functional recovery. Pilot examples of designed applications and preliminary system evaluation are reported and discussed.


Krpič, Andrej; Savanović, Arso; Cikajlo, Imre “Telerehabilitation: remote multimedia-supported assistance and mobile monitoring of balance training outcomes can facilitate the clinical staff's effort.”


Telerehabilitation can offer prolonged rehabilitation for patients with stroke after being discharged from the hospital, whilst remote diagnostics may reduce the frequency of the outpatient services required. Here, we compared a novel telerehabilitation system for virtual reality-supported balance training with balance training with only a standing frame and with conventional therapy in the hospital. The proposed low-cost experimental system for balance training enabling multiple home systems, real-time tracking of task's performance and different views of captured data with balance training, consists of a standing frame equipped with a tilt sensor, a low-cost computer, display, and internet connection. Goal-based tasks for balance training in the virtual environment proved motivating for the participating individuals. The physiotherapist, located in the remote healthcare center, could remotely adjust the level of complexity and difficulty or preview the outcomes and instructions with the application on the mobile smartphone. Patients using the virtual reality-supported balance training showed an improvement in the task performance time of 45% and number of collisions of 68%, showing significant improvements in the Berg Balance Scale, Timed 'Up and Go', and 10 m Walk Test. The clinical outcomes were not significantly different from balance training with only the standing frame or conventional therapy. The proposed telerehabilitation can facilitate the physiotherapists' work and thus enable rehabilitation to a larger number of patients after release from the hospital because it requires less time and infrequent presence of the clinical staff. However, a comprehensive clinical evaluation is required to confirm the applicability of the concept.

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