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Trials. 2019 Jan 29;20(1):89. doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-3165-7.

Virtual reality gait training versus non-virtual reality gait training for improving participation in subacute stroke survivors: study protocol of the ViRTAS randomized controlled trial.

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Revant Rehabilitation Centres, Breda, The Netherlands.
Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation Medicine, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, and De Hoogstraat Rehabilitation, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Revant Rehabilitation Centres, Breda, The Netherlands.
Department of Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy Science and Sports, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



A stroke often results in gait impairments, activity limitations and restricted participation in daily life. Virtual reality (VR) has shown to be beneficial for improving gait ability after stroke. Previous studies regarding VR focused mainly on improvements in functional outcomes. As participation in daily life is an important goal for rehabilitation after stroke, it is of importance to investigate if VR gait training improves participation. The primary aim of this study is to examine the effect of VR gait training on participation in community-living people after stroke.


The ViRTAS study comprises a single-blinded, randomized controlled trial with two parallel groups. Fifty people between 2 weeks and 6 months after stroke, who experience constraints with walking in daily life, are randomly assigned to the virtual reality gait training (VRT) group or the non-virtual reality gait training (non-VRT) group. Both training interventions consist of 12 30-min sessions in an outpatient rehabilitation clinic during 6 weeks. Assessments are performed at baseline, post intervention and 3 months post intervention. The primary outcome is participation measured with the Utrecht Scale for Evaluation of Rehabilitation-Participation (USER-P). Secondary outcomes are subjective physical functioning, functional mobility, walking ability, walking activity, fatigue, anxiety and depression, falls efficacy and quality of life.


The results of the study provide insight into the effect of VR gait training on participation after stroke.


Netherlands National Trial Register, Identifier NTR6215 . Registered on 3 February 2017.


Gait; Rehabilitation; Stroke; virtual reality

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