Author(s): Kizony R, Raz L, Katz N, Weingarden H, Weiss PL
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Abstract This article presents results from a feasibility study of a video-capture virtual reality (VR) system used with patients who have paraplegic spinal cord injury (SCI) and who need balance training. The advantages of the VR system include providing the user with natural control of movements, the ability to use as many parts of the body as are deemed suitable within the context of therapeutic goals, and flexibility in the way the system can be adapted to suit specific therapeutic objectives. Thirteen participants with SCI experienced three virtual environments (VEs). Their responses to a Short Feedback Questionnaire showed high levels of presence. We compared performance in the environments with a group of 12 nondisabled participants. Response times for the patient group were significantly higher and percentage of success was significantly lower than that for the nondisabled group. In addition, significant moderate correlations were found between performance within a VE and static balance ability as measured by the Functional Reach Test. This study is a first step toward future studies aimed at determining the potential of using this VR system during the rehabilitation of patients with SCI.
This article was published in J Rehabil Res Dev
and referenced in Journal of Spine