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Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2011;6(5):453-63. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2011.574310. Epub 2011 Apr 17.

Virtual reality games for rehabilitation of people with stroke: perspectives from the users.

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Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.



The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and users' perspectives of a novel virtual reality (VR) game-based rehabilitation intervention for people with stroke.


Six people with upper limb hemiplegia participated in a 6-week intervention that involved VR games. A series of eight progressively complex games was developed that required participants to navigate a submarine in a virtual ocean environment. Movement of the submarine was directed by forces applied to an arm interface by the affected limb. Outcome measures included assessments of arm function, questionnaires evaluating the intervention and a semi-structured interview concerning the participants' opinion of the intervention.


All participants improved their performance on the games, although there were limited changes in clinical measures of arm function. All participants reported that they enjoyed the intervention with a wide range of overall perceptions of the experience of using VR. Three themes emerging from the interview data were: stretching myself, purpose and expectations of the intervention and future improvements.


Participants found that taking part in this pilot study was enjoyable and challenging. Participants' feedback suggested that the games may be motivating and engaging for future users and have provided a basis for further development of the intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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