The effectiveness of virtual reality training in reducing the risk of falls among elderly people
Received 11 August 2018
Accepted for publication 10 October 2018
Published 14 November 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2329—2338
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker
Magdalena Sylwia Kamińska,1 Agnieszka Miller,2 Iwona Rotter,3 Aleksandra Szylińska,3 Elżbieta Grochans4
1Department of Primary Health Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, 71-210 Szczecin, Poland; 2Holistic Agnieszka Miller, 66-450 Bogdaniec, Poland; 3Department of Medical Rehabilitation and Clinical Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, 71-210 Szczecin, Poland; 4Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, 71-210 Szczecin, Poland
Background: Virtual reality (VR) training using modern game consoles is an innovative rehabilitation method for fall-prone elderly people. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of VR training using the “Xbox 360 Kinect” in people over 60 years of age.
Materials and methods: The study involved 23 people, including 19 women and 4 men (mean age 75.74±8.09 years). The following functional tests were employed as research instruments: the 6-minute walking test (6MWT), the Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), the tandem stance test (TST), the tandem walk test (TWT), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). A “spring hand dynamometer” was also used. The participants underwent 30-day VR training using an Xbox 360 Kinect. They trained 3 times a week, with each exercise lasting 30 minutes.
Results: The 6MWT (P<0.001), the DGI (P=0.008), the TST (P<0.001), the TWT (P=0.002), and the BDI (P<0.001) outcomes were significantly improved. There were differences in the results for the strength of the “pressing muscles” in the right (P=0.106) and left (P=0.043) hands of the participants. Both participants under 80 years of age and those aged 80 years and over had visibly better results on the 6MWT (P<0.001 and P=0.008, respectively), the TST (P<0.001 and P=0.008, respectively), and the BDI (P=0.003 and P=0.012, respectively).
Conclusion: Training based on VR increases the possibilities of motor training and can help reduce the risk of falls by improving the static and dynamic balance.
Keywords: virtual reality, Xbox 360 Kinect, elderly people
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