Volume 51 Number 7, 2014
Pages 1069 — 1076
Abstract — Persons with dementia (PWD) are known to have difficulty with participation and focus during physical activity. Virtual reality (VR) offers a unique medium for motor learning but has only been used previously for cognitive assessment for PWD. Our study had two objectives: (1) investigate the feasibility and safety of an exercise-based VR training program in PWD, and (2) investigate its effects on balance and mobility. The intervention consisted of daily (5 d/wk, 1 h each) VR training sessions for 2 wk for a single research participant. Clinical balance and mobility measures were assessed 1 wk prior to, during, 1 wk following, and 1 mo after the intervention. Postintervention interviews provided qualitative feedback from the participant and his caregivers. Results indicate that VR training is feasible, safe, and enjoyable for PWD. However, balance and mobility measures were unaffected. VR training is well tolerated in a single research participant with dementia and is an engaging medium for participation in exercise.
Key words: balance, dementia, exercise, games, intervention, rehabilitation, single-subject design, training, virtual reality, walking.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, November 13, 2014 10:23 AM