Virtual Recovery

Man with virtual reality headset.

Recovery’s about to get REAL — virtually!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying….

Fire up the video games – and let the healing begin!

Ruei-Ching Lin at Tri‐Service General Hospital in Taiwan and her team had an idea! Could virtual reality, or V-R, help stroke patients with recovery?

The researchers recruited over a hundred and fifty individuals who had suffered from an acute stroke. In addition to normal stretching and strengthening exercises, a quarter of the participants received fifteen minutes of V-R training twice a day for five days. This included muscle strength, coordination and mental exercises like solving simple math problems. 

Results? Those who took the training had a greater increase in arm strength! They also experienced less anxiety and depression compared to those without V-R training.

Lin and team now believe virtual reality training should be a regular part of acute stroke rehab. Let recovery be as fun as playing World of Warcraft!.

Looks like virtual reality is making OUR reality better! The Red Bull is optional.

Reference: Lin, R.‐C., Chiang, S.‐L., Heitkemper, M.M., Weng, S.‐M., Lin, C.‐F., Yang, F.‐C. and Lin, C.‐H. (2020), Effectiveness of Early Rehabilitation Combined with Virtual Reality Training on Muscle Strength, Mood State, and Functional Status in Patients with Acute Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing, 17: 158-167.