Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Virtual reality - virtually the same patient outcomes

06 July 2015
RCSI research indicates that while patients might enjoy their balance rehab more with a Wii Fit Plus, it didn't actually lead to better patient outcomes.

Lead researcher, Dr Dara Meldrum from the School of Physiotherapy, RCSI, explains 'It’s interesting that the systematic reviews in the area of balance rehab are all finding that the use of technology is not, so far, superior to conventional treatment. It's not quite the holy grail we thought it might be. 

What our particular research did find though, was that patient enjoyment was substantially higher in the Wii Fit Plus group.

I think that virtual reality based exercises still have a role to play in balance rehab, but it might be confined to tracking exercises to better enable us to prescribe variables like the number of repetitions, the intensity and duration of exercises'.

The research was funded by the HRB and involved 71 patients at Beaumont Hospital and the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear hospitals. 

The full paper is published in the journal Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2015.02.032