Effects of Virtual Reality Based Therapeutic Exercise on the Upper Extremity Function and Activities of Daily Living in Patients with Acute Stroke: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
Keywords:: Activities of daily living, occupational therapy, upper limb function, acute stroke, therapeutic exercise, virtual reality
Background: Virtual reality-based therapeutic exercise (VRTE) has been considered as a rehabilitative
intervention for neurological deficits. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of VRTE and
occupational therapy (OT) on the upper extremity function and activities of daily living in patients with
Method: Twenty-four patients who had suffered a stroke within the last 30 days before enrollment
participated in this study. They were randomly assigned to either the VRTE group (n = 12) or the OT group
(n = 12). Twenty sessions were conducted in all. To quantify the upper extremity function, the Jebsen-Taylor
hand function test (JT) and Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) of the upper limb were used, and the grip
strength (GS) was assessed. To assess activities of daily living, the modified Barthel index (MBI) was used.
Results: In the VRTE group, JT (p = 0.002), FMA (p = 0.002), GS (p = 0.002), and MBI (p = 0.002) showed
a significant improvement after the intervention. In the OT group, JT (p = 0.002), FMA (p = 0.001), GS (p
= 0.002), and MBI (p = 0.001) significantly improved after the intervention. However, compared with OT,
VRTE did not show significant improvements in upper extremity function and activities of daily living.
Conclusions: This study suggests that the early approach of VRTE is not superior to OT for the improvement
of upper limb function and activities of daily living in patients of stroke
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