This paper reports on a pilot randomized controlled study on the use of virtual reality (VR) for examining rehabilitation outcomes in children with cerebral palsy. The objectives of the study were to see if changes in the quality of upper-extremity movement and in self-perceived self-efficacy and self concept could be found as a result of VR intervention. There were 19 experimental and 12 control subjects. The main outcome tools for the study were the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC), the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), and the Quality of Upper Extremity Test (QUEST). The results were all non-significant with the exception of the Harter’s social acceptance subscale (p = .02). These results need to be interpreted with caution, as there was considerable drop out with the control group and variability in the participants. These results do not suggest that VR is more effective than regular OT or PT intervention for children with cerebral palsy. These findings will be discussed to suggest that VR remains a viable rehabilitation tool and further research needs to be done where strategies for control group retention are devised as well as its use in recreation therapy.
Author Denise Reid, Kent Campbell
Volume Vol 40, No 4 (2006)