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Dev Neurorehabil. 2011;14(2):112-22. doi: 10.3109/17518423.2010.535805.

Facilitating clinical decision-making about the use of virtual reality within paediatric motor rehabilitation: describing and classifying virtual reality systems.

Author information

  • 1Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, VIC, Australia. jane.galvin@rch.org.au



The use of virtual reality (VR) as a therapeutic intervention to improve motor function is an emerging area of rehabilitation practice and research. This paper describes VR systems reported in research literature and proposes a classification framework that categorizes VR systems according to characteristics relevant to motor rehabilitation.


A comprehensive database search was undertaken to explore VR systems used in motor rehabilitation for children. Description of these systems, motor learning literature and expert opinion informed development of a classification framework.


Six VR systems are included. The descriptive analysis describes each system according to 12 user, system and context variables. The classification framework identifies three features common to all VR systems. Seven categories are proposed to differentiate between systems.


This paper organizes available information to facilitate clinical decision-making about VR systems and identifies areas of research to support the use of VR as a therapeutic intervention.

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