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Influence of virtual reality soccer game on walking performance in robotic assisted gait training for children


Brütsch, K; Schuler, T; Koenig, Alexander; Zimmerli, Lukas; Merillat, S; Lünenburger, Lars; Riener, Robert; Jäncke, Lutz; Meyer-Heim, Andreas (2010). Influence of virtual reality soccer game on walking performance in robotic assisted gait training for children. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, 7:15.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Virtual reality (VR) offers powerful therapy options within a functional, purposeful and motivating context. Several studies have shown that patients' motivation plays a crucial role in determining therapy outcome. However, few studies have demonstrated the potential of VR in pediatric rehabilitation. Therefore, we developed a VR-based soccer scenario, which provided interactive elements to engage patients during robotic assisted treadmill training (RAGT). The aim of this study was to compare the immediate effect of different supportive conditions (VR versus non-VR conditions) on motor output in patients and healthy control children during training with the driven gait orthosis Lokomat*.

METHODS: A total of 18 children (ten patients with different neurological gait disorders, eight healthy controls) took part in this study. They were instructed to walk on the Lokomat in four different, randomly-presented conditions: (1) walk normally without supporting assistance, (2) with therapists' instructions to promote active participation, (3) with VR as a motivating tool to walk actively and (4) with the VR tool combined with therapists' instructions. The Lokomat gait orthosis is equipped with sensors at hip and knee joint to measure man-machine interaction forces. Additionally, subjects' acceptance of the RAGT with VR was assessed using a questionnaire.

RESULTS: The mixed ANOVA revealed significant main effects for the factor CONDITIONS (p < 0.001) and a significant interaction CONDITIONS x GROUP (p = 0.01). Tests of between-subjects effects showed no significant main effect for the GROUP (p = 0.592). Active participation in patients and control children increased significantly when supported and motivated either by therapists' instructions or by a VR scenario compared with the baseline measurement "normal walking" (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The VR scenario used here induces an immediate effect on motor output to a similar degree as the effect resulting from verbal instructions by the therapists. Further research needs to focus on the implementation of interactive design elements, which keep motivation high across and beyond RAGT sessions, especially in pediatric rehabilitation.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Virtual reality (VR) offers powerful therapy options within a functional, purposeful and motivating context. Several studies have shown that patients' motivation plays a crucial role in determining therapy outcome. However, few studies have demonstrated the potential of VR in pediatric rehabilitation. Therefore, we developed a VR-based soccer scenario, which provided interactive elements to engage patients during robotic assisted treadmill training (RAGT). The aim of this study was to compare the immediate effect of different supportive conditions (VR versus non-VR conditions) on motor output in patients and healthy control children during training with the driven gait orthosis Lokomat*.

METHODS: A total of 18 children (ten patients with different neurological gait disorders, eight healthy controls) took part in this study. They were instructed to walk on the Lokomat in four different, randomly-presented conditions: (1) walk normally without supporting assistance, (2) with therapists' instructions to promote active participation, (3) with VR as a motivating tool to walk actively and (4) with the VR tool combined with therapists' instructions. The Lokomat gait orthosis is equipped with sensors at hip and knee joint to measure man-machine interaction forces. Additionally, subjects' acceptance of the RAGT with VR was assessed using a questionnaire.

RESULTS: The mixed ANOVA revealed significant main effects for the factor CONDITIONS (p < 0.001) and a significant interaction CONDITIONS x GROUP (p = 0.01). Tests of between-subjects effects showed no significant main effect for the GROUP (p = 0.592). Active participation in patients and control children increased significantly when supported and motivated either by therapists' instructions or by a VR scenario compared with the baseline measurement "normal walking" (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The VR scenario used here induces an immediate effect on motor output to a similar degree as the effect resulting from verbal instructions by the therapists. Further research needs to focus on the implementation of interactive design elements, which keep motivation high across and beyond RAGT sessions, especially in pediatric rehabilitation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:17 Aug 2010 15:13
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:13
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1743-0003
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-0003-7-15
PubMed ID:20412572

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