Intervention using the VMall for improving motor and functional ability of the upper extremity in post stroke participants.

European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine

PubMedID: 19270640

Rand D, Katz N, Weiss PL. Intervention using the VMall for improving motor and functional ability of the upper extremity in post stroke participants. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2009;45(1):113-21.
AIM
Initial studies have shown the potential of video capture virtual reality (VR) systems for rehabilitation. However, it is important to continue to investigate the utility of novel VR intervention techniques for treating motor deficits. The aim of the current study was to determine the effectiveness of the VMall, a virtual supermarket on a video capture system as an intervention tool to treat the weak upper extremity of people with stroke.

METHODS
This study followed a single subject, ABA design, for six participants with stroke who live at home. Each participant received ten one-hour treatment sessions over a period of three weeks. The motor and functional abilities of the weak upper extremity of the participants were tested using standardized clinical assessments prior to and following the intervention.

RESULTS
An improvement was found for all outcome measures during the intervention phase as compared to no or very little change during both baseline phases. The participants reported that the intervention helped them improve their weak upper extremity and stated that they used it more in daily life than prior to the intervention.

CONCLUSIONS
The VMall appears to have great potential as an intervention tool for treating the weak upper extremity of individuals with stroke while providing opportunities for practicing functional tasks.