The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of additional virtual reality training using Xbox Kinect on upper extremity function, including range of motion, motor function, and gross manual dexterity, in stroke survivors with hemiplegia.
This study is a randomized controlled trial. Forty participants were randomly allocated to either the experimental or control groups; the experimental group (n = 20) underwent virtual reality training using Xbox Kinect and conventional occupational therapy, and the control group (n = 20) underwent conventional occupational therapy alone. The mean time since the onset of stroke was 7.22 mos in the experimental group and 8.47 mos in the control group. At baseline and after 6 wks of intervention, range of motion of the upper extremity was measured, and the Fugl-Meyer Assessment and the Box and Block Test were performed.
After intervention, significant improvements from baseline values in range of motion of the upper extremity, Fugl-Meyer Assessment scores, and Box and Block Test scores were observed in the experimental and control groups (P < 0.05). At follow-up, there were significant differences between the two groups in range of motion (except for the wrist), Fugl-Meyer Assessment scores, and Box and Block Test scores (P < 0.05).
The hemiplegic stroke survivors who received additional virtual reality training using Xbox Kinect showed significantly improved function of the upper extremity. However, the effects of the virtual reality training using Xbox Kinect may have been a result of the greater total intervention time in the training group compared with the control group. Thus, the potential efficacy of Xbox Kinect in the rehabilitation of post-stroke survivors needs to be investigated in greater depth.