Impact of a virtual reality program on post-stroke upper limb function: a randomized controlled trial
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Physical Therapy Department, Faculty of Medical Rehabilitation Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Department of Physical Therapy for Neuromuscular Disorders & its Surgery, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Egypt
Biomechanics Department, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Egypt
Submission date: 2020-04-11
Acceptance date: 2020-11-30
Publication date: 2022-04-21
Physiother Quart. 2022;30(4):81-86
Motor function after stroke may be facilitated by the application of task-oriented approach which provides both functional and neurological recovery than otherwise possible. Also, virtual reality training promotes the restoration of movements by immersing the patient in an entertaining trial of performance.

To compare between the effect of virtual reality training program and task-oriented training program on the paretic upper limb function post stroke. Twenty subacute stroke survivors participated in the study. Participants were randomly allocated into one of two equal groups of 10; experimental group (A) and control group (B). Experimental group (A) performed a virtual reality program and task-oriented program, while Control group (B) performed task-oriented program only. Assessment was done for all participants using upper limb function index and grip strength test before (pre testing) and after six weeks of intervention (post testing).

Paired t-test revealed that Virtual reality training group (Experimental group A) had statistical significant increases in the post testing mean values (after six weeks of intervention) of both upper limb functional index and hand grip strength compared to the pre testing values (p < 0.05). Furthermore, independent t-test showed a statistical significant increases in their post testing mean values in the experimental group A compared to the control group B.

The virtual reality training has a vital role in improving upper limb function and augmenting hand grip strength post stroke. It can be considered more effective than task-oriented in such cases.

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