Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 7, 2014
   Pages 1069 — 1076

Abstract — Two-week virtual reality training for dementia: Single-case feasibility study

Daniel McEwen, MSc;1–2 Anne Taillon-Hobson, PT;1 Martin Bilodeau, PhD;1–3 Heidi Sveistrup, PhD;2–3 Hillel Finestone, MDCM, FRCPC1,3–5*

1Bruyère Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Schools of 2Rehabilitation Sciences and 3Human Kinetics and 4Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; 5Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Elisabeth Bruyère Hospital, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada

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.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 51, No.7

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
McEwen D, Taillon-Hobson A, Bilodeau M, Sveistrup H, Finestone H. Two-week virtual reality training for dementia: Single-case feasibility study. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(7):1069–76.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.10.0231
ResearcherID/ORCID: Daniel McEwen, MSc: L-5350-2014; Heidi Sveistrup, PhD: C-6616-2011; Martin Bilodeau, PhD: L-8588-2014
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