For Clinicians And Researchers.

International Journal of Therapies and Rehabilitation Research, 2013, 2: 2

Dual-task Training Using Virtual Reality: Influence on Walking and Balance in Three Post Stroke Survivors

Ayelet Dunsky , Pavel Fishbein, Yeshayahu Hutzle , The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Wingate Institute, Israel

 

Objective: To investigate the feasibility of using a virtual reality (VR)-based dual task of upper extremity tracking while treadmill walking, to improve gait and functional balance performance of stroke survivors.

 

Materials and Methods: Three individuals (two males and one female), 66, 64, and 54 years old, respectively, participated in the study. The participants were trained in eight sessions of dual-task walking (DTW) on a treadmill while performing virtual tasks, and eight sessions of single-task treadmill walking (TMW), in a cross-over design. Their walking speed, balance performances, and perceived confidence were measured four times along different stages of the study.

 

Results: Two participants demonstrated improvements in each of the outcome measures after the DTW intervention and no change after the TMW intervention.

 

Conclusion: The improvements that were observed in the study demonstrate the potential benefit of DTW using VR while treadmill walking on gait and balance performances of stroke survivors.

 

Key words: stroke rehabilitation, virtual reality, dual-task training, community ambulation