Virtual Reality Intervention for Stroke Rehabilitation

Completed

Phase N/A Results N/A

Trial Description

In Israel approximately 16,000 people have a stroke each year. Most of these people suffer from weakness or paralysis of half of their body which leads to difficulties performing basic activities of daily life (BADL) such as dressing and walking. Due to the stroke, these individuals need to undergo intensive rehabilitation. After rehabilitation, physical activity has been strongly recommended to maintain their functional level which was achieved during rehabilitation. In addition regular physical activity can prevent secondary condition However, recent findings suggest that people with stroke do not perform enough physical activity with their upper and lower extremities.
The use of Virtual Reality (VR) for rehabilitation has been found to have potential for encouraging active purposeful movement. Many researchers have assessed the feasibility & usability of different VR systems and environments for individuals with stroke. Costly VR systems in addition to off-the-shelf video game consoles (e.g. Sony PlayStation EyeToy, Nintendo Wii) have been found to have great potential to encourage active purposeful movement. However, to date, only a limited number of studies have investigated the effectiveness of VR therapy post-stroke.
Since physical activity is important after stroke and the fact that individuals with stroke are not participating sufficiently in physical activity, I suggest to carry out this study.
The overall aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of using novel technology of VR therapy to promote the participation in daily physical activity of individuals with stroke. A 'Community based' VR program will be compared to a traditional therapy program in promoting daily physical activity of the lower and upper extremities.
It is hypothesized that the VR intervention will be more efficient than the traditional therapy in promoting physical activity (walking and use of the weak upper extremity).

Detailed Description

In Israel there are approximately 16,000 new cases of stroke per year and recently stroke has been recognized by the Israeli health-care policy planners as a top priority disease. Individuals who have sustained a stroke constitute a large population with significant needs for rehabilitation. The most common symptom following stroke is paresis or paralysis to half of the body, contralateral to the side of brain lesion. These individuals experience difficulties performing basic activities of daily life (BADL) such as dressing and walking, in addition to instrumental activities of daily life (IADL) such as shopping and cooking.
Physical activity has been strongly recommended for these individuals to maintain their functional level which was achieved during rehabilitation. In addition regular physical activity can prevent secondary conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and decreases the risk of a recurrent stroke. Reduced physical activity can also lead to disuse atrophy and cardiovascular de-conditioning, which can result in deterioration of the person's physical condition. However, recent findings suggest that people with stroke do not perform enough physical activity with their upper and lower extremities.
The use of Virtual Reality (VR) for rehabilitation has been found to have potential for encouraging active purposeful movement. Many researchers have assessed the feasibility & usability of different VR systems and environments for individuals with stroke. Costly VR systems in addition to off-the-shelf video game consoles (e.g. Sony PlayStation EyeToy, Nintendo Wii) have been found to have great potential to encourage active purposeful movement. However, to date, only a limited number of studies have investigated the effectiveness of VR therapy post-stroke.
Since physical activity has been recognized to be a main factor in facilitating recovery post stroke and an important factor in preventing a recurrent stroke and due to the fact that individuals with stroke are not participating sufficiently in physical activity. Their physical and functional ability may deteriorate leading to expensive hospitalization and devastating outcomes, therefore, I suggest to carry out this study.
STUDY OBJECTIVES:
The overall aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of using novel technology of VR therapy to promote the participation in daily physical activity of individuals with stroke. A 'Community based' VR program will be compared to a traditional therapy program in promoting daily physical activity of the lower and upper extremities.
METHODS:
A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) comparing VR therapy to traditional therapy will be applied. Eligible participants will be randomly allocated to the experimental or the control group. Blind assessors will assess their ability pre and post a 3-month intervention and at 3-month follow-up. Novel instrumentation of VR systems and video-game consoles will be applied for the intervention of the experimental group and accelerometers (that measure the intensity and duration of movement) will be utilized for assessing 'free-living' daily physical activity of the upper and lower extremities of both groups. In addition clinical assessments will be administered to assess the motor and functional ability of these individuals.
The main hypotheses are:
1. Daily walking post intervention will increase significantly more in the VR therapy groups compared to the traditional therapy groups.
2. Daily use of the weak upper extremity post intervention will increase significantly more in the VR therapy groups compared to the traditional therapy groups.
3. Daily walking on follow-up will be significantly higher in the VR therapy groups compared to the traditional therapy groups.
4. Daily use of the weak upper extremity on follow-up will increase significantly more in the VR therapy groups compared to the traditional therapy groups.
Secondary hypotheses;
1. Post intervention and on follow-up, the motor and functional ability of the weak upper extremity of the individuals in the VR therapy group will improve significantly more compared to the motor and functional ability of the weak upper extremity of individuals in the traditional therapy group.
2. Post intervention and on follow-up, the motor and functional ability of the weak lower extremity and balance of the individuals in the VR therapy group will improve significantly more compared to the individuals in the traditional therapy group.
3. Participation in ADL post intervention and on follow-up will be significantly higher in the VR therapy groups compared to the traditional therapy groups.
4. The executive functions of the individuals post intervention and on follow-up will be significantly higher in the VR therapy group compared to the traditional therapy group.

Conditions

Interventions

  • Virtual Reality Device
    Intervention Desc: The VR-therapy will include the playing of various virtual reality or video-games which encourages the use of the extremities while sitting and standing
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Virtual Reality Therapy
    Description: The VR-therapy will include the playing of various virtual reality or video-games which encourages the use of the extremities while sitting and standing.
  • Traditional Therapy Other
    Other Names: 'Community based' Traditional therapy program
    Intervention Desc: The traditional therapy will include exercise for balance and walking and for the upper extremity using traditional therapeutic tools such as balls, weights, chairs, bands, steps, etc.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Traditional Therapy
    Description: The traditional therapy will include exercises for balance and walking and for the upper extremity using traditional therapeutic tools such as balls, weights, chairs, bands, steps, etc.

Trial Design

  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
  • Purpose: Treatment
  • Intervention: Parallel Assignment

Outcomes

Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary Physical activity of the lower and upper extremities 6 months No
Secondary The Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment (FMA) (upper extremity subtest) 6 months No
Secondary The Action Research Arm Test (ARAT) 6 months No
Secondary The Box and Blocks test 6 months No
Secondary The 10-meter walk test (10MWT) 6 months No
Secondary Timed get up & Go Test 6 months Yes
Secondary The Executive Functions Route Finding Test (EFRT) 6 months No
Secondary Walking while Talking (WWT) 6 months Yes

Sponsors