The Rehabilitative Effects of Virtual Reality Games on Balance Performance among Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Department of Physical Education, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518061, China
Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS 38655, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214161
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 22 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 28 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Dietary Interventions and Tracking Using Technology)
This research aims to evaluate the effect of virtual reality (VR) games on balance recovery of children with cerebral palsy (CP) by quantitatively synthesizing the existing literature, and to further determine the impact of VR game intervention (the duration of each intervention, intervention frequency, intervention cycle, and total intervention time) on the balance recovery of children with CP. To this end, relevant literature up until 3 August 2019 was retrieved from Chinese databases (CNKI and Wanfang Data) and the databases in other languages (Web of Science, Pubmed, EBSCOhost, Informit, Scopus, Science Direct, and ProQuest), and bias analysis was conducted with the PEDro scale in this research. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were selected and underwent meta-analysis, and combined effect size was calculated with a random effects model. The results showed that VR games may improve the balance of children with CP (Hedge’s g = 0.29; 95% CI 0.10–0.48), and no significant influence of the intervention on balance of children with CP was shown in the subgroup analysis. In conclusion, VR games played a positive role in the improvement of balance of children with CP, but these results should be viewed with caution owing to current methodological defects (difference in measurement, heterogeneity of control groups, intervention combined with other treatments, etc.).