Kim JH, Jang SH, Kim CS, Jung JH, You JH: Use of virtual reality to enhance balance and ambulation in chronic stroke: A double-blind, randomized controlled study.
To examine an additive effect of virtual reality
function in patients with chronic hemiparetic stroke.
Twenty-four adults with hemiparetic stroke were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (n
= 12) or a control group. Both groups underwent conventional physical therapy, 40 mins a day, 4 days a week for 4 wks. The experimental group received an additional 30 mins of virtual reality
therapy each session. Balance
performance was determined by the Balance
Performance Monitor and Berg Balance
Scale tests. Gait
performance was determined by the 10-m walking test and Modified Motor Assessment Scale, and spatiotemporal parameters were obtained using GAITRite. Analysis of variance and correlation statistics were performed at P
In the balance
test, the experimental group had improved Berg Balance
Scale scores, balance
and dynamic balance
angles (ability to control weight shifting) compared with the controls (P
< 0.05). In the gait
performance test, the experimental group showed significant improvements in velocity, Modified Motor Assessment Scale scores, cadence, step time, step length, and stride length (P
< 0.05). Improvement in dynamic balance
angles was correlated with velocity and cadence (P
This study demonstrates that virtual reality
has an augmented effect on balance
and associated locomotor recovery in adults with hemiparetic stroke when added to conventional therapy.