We designed and implemented an immersive virtual reality (VR) environment for upper limb rehabilitation, which possesses several notable features. First, by exploiting modern computer graphics its can present a variety of scenarios that make the rehabilitation routines challenging yet enjoyable for patients, thus enhancing their adherence to the therapy. Second, immersion in a virtual 3D space allows the patients to execute tasks that are closely related to everyday gestures, thus enhancing the transfer of the acquired motor skills to real-life routines. Third, in addition to the VR environment, we also developed a client app running on a PC that allows to monitor in real-time and remotely the patients’ routines thus paving the way for telerehabilitation scenarios. Here, we report the results of a feasibility study in a cohort of 16 stroke patients. All our patients showed a high degree of comfort in our immersive VR system and they reported very high scores of ownership and agency in embodiment and satisfaction questionnaires. Furthermore, and notably, we found that behavioral performances in our VR tasks correlated with the patients’ clinical scores (Fugl-Meyer scale) and they could thus be used to assess improvements during the rehabilitation program. While further studies are needed, our results clearly support the feasibility and effectiveness of VR-based motor rehabilitation processes.

A novel immersive virtual reality environment for the motor rehabilitation of stroke patients: A feasibility study

Fregna G.
Primo
;
Baroni A.;Straudi S.
Penultimo
;
Casile A.
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

We designed and implemented an immersive virtual reality (VR) environment for upper limb rehabilitation, which possesses several notable features. First, by exploiting modern computer graphics its can present a variety of scenarios that make the rehabilitation routines challenging yet enjoyable for patients, thus enhancing their adherence to the therapy. Second, immersion in a virtual 3D space allows the patients to execute tasks that are closely related to everyday gestures, thus enhancing the transfer of the acquired motor skills to real-life routines. Third, in addition to the VR environment, we also developed a client app running on a PC that allows to monitor in real-time and remotely the patients’ routines thus paving the way for telerehabilitation scenarios. Here, we report the results of a feasibility study in a cohort of 16 stroke patients. All our patients showed a high degree of comfort in our immersive VR system and they reported very high scores of ownership and agency in embodiment and satisfaction questionnaires. Furthermore, and notably, we found that behavioral performances in our VR tasks correlated with the patients’ clinical scores (Fugl-Meyer scale) and they could thus be used to assess improvements during the rehabilitation program. While further studies are needed, our results clearly support the feasibility and effectiveness of VR-based motor rehabilitation processes.
Fregna, G.; Schincaglia, N.; Baroni, A.; Straudi, S.; Casile, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2495081
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