Virtual reality-based telerehabilitation programs can produce similar motor improvement results in stroke patients to in-clinic rehabilitation, according to study results published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Researchers conducted a single-blind randomized controlled trial in which chronic outpatients with stroke with residual hemiparesis participated in 20 training sessions with a telerehabilitation system, for 45 minutes three times a week, in the clinic or at home. Clinical assessments were conducted at baseline, 8 weeks post-treatment and 12 weeks post-treatment using the Berg Balance Scale, balance and gait subscales of the Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment and the Brunel Balance Assessment.
Results showed significant balance improvements in both groups from the initial to the final assessment, with no significant differences shown between groups in any balance scale. Both groups considered the virtual reality8based system similarly usable and motivating in comparison to the in-clinic system. The virtual reality based program was less expensive than the in-clinic program, by $654.72 per person.
For more information:
Llorens R. Arch Phys Med. 2014; doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2014.10.019.
Disclosure: See the full study for a list of the researchers’ relevant financial disclosures