Category: Technology (e.g. robotics, assistive technology, mHealth); Cross-Cutting; Neuroplasticity (includes neuroscience)
Objective : To explore the feasibility of using VR high fall-risk condition training to improve postural control accuracy and speed
Before-after trial. The maximal forward lean distance (MFLD) was measured using a force plate. Participants were provided a cursor to represent their center of pressure position and a target in VR. Participants moved the cursor up or down by leaning forward or backward, respectively. Participants went through 30 targets with distances of 84% of their MFLDs in testing sessions before and after training. Participants were asked to move the cursor to the target by leaning forward and stay on the target until it disappeared (200ms). If the cursor fell out of the target area within 200ms, the attempt failed. When participants moved back into the target area again, the timer restarted. During virtual high fall-risk conditions used for training, visual feedback indicating a significant change in height between the platform the participants were standing on and the floor was presented. Visual feedback of a level surface was provided for testing sessions.
Setting : University research laboratory
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : 10 healthy young adults
Interventions : Participants went through 120 targets with distances of 56% of their MFLDs in the virtual high fall-risk condition training.
Main Outcome Measure(s) :
average failed attempts for each target, average movement time for each target with fewer than two failed attempts (80% accuracy)
The average failed attempts after training were significantly fewer than before training (p = 0.009). The average movement time after training was significantly shorter than before training (p = 0.006).
Proven to be an effective and affordable method, VR may be used for training elderly adults and patients with movement disorders to improve postural control accuracy and speed.
Rongyi Sun– Research assistant at Mobility and Fall Prevention Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Flushing, New York
Rachneet Kaur– PhD Student, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Champaign, Illinois
Richard Sowers– Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois
Manuel Hernandez– Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois