For those who do not play video games, virtual reality has become quite popular for those who can afford it. The technology has also found some other uses, including rehabilitation. However, there have been few studies on how well it works. One just completed according to Cerebral Palsy News Today.
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One of the problems with traditional rehabilitation is that it’s boring to children. It’s not very fun nor engaging. The researchers had a hypothesis that using virtual reality technology might make physical therapy more entertaining and motivating, but there was no research done to see if VR improved motor skills in this population.
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The study used 41 children from 5-15 years of age. Over the course of the study, 21 of the children received an hour of VR therapy three days a week over four weeks, in addition to conventional treatments that the control group also followed. The VR system used was the PS2 EyeToy that uses body tracking to play games.
When researchers measured the motor skills using three tools, they found significant improvements in the VR group over the control group. However, they cautioned that their study was the first of its kind to their knowledge and that more research will be needed to confirm their results.