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Effectiveness of Virtual Reality on Functional Performance after Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Department of Nursing, Pharmacology and Physiotherapy, University of Cordoba, 14004 Cordoba, Spain
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Department of Cell Biology, Physiology, and Immunology, University of Cordoba, 14007 Cordoba, Spain
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Department of Statistics and Operational Research, University of Cadiz, 11009 Cadiz, Spain
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Institute of Research and Innovation in Biomedical Sciences of the Province of Cadiz (INiBICA), University of Cadiz, 11009 Cadiz, Spain
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The Observatory of Pain, University of Cadiz, 11009 Cadiz, Spain
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Department of Nursing and Physiotherapy, University of Cadiz, 11009 Cadiz, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2065; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072065
Received: 22 May 2020 / Revised: 26 June 2020 / Accepted: 29 June 2020 / Published: 1 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Technology Application for Clinical Neurorehabilitation)
A spinal cord injury (SCI) usually results in a significant limitation in the functional outcomes, implying a challenge to the performance of activities of daily living. The main aim of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of virtual reality to improve functional performance in patients with SCI. The search was performed between October and December 2019 in Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Medline, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Embase. The methodological quality of the studies was evaluated through the PEDro scale, and the risk of bias was evaluated with the Cochrane collaboration’s tool. Seven articles were included in this systematic review, and five of them in the meta-analysis. Statistical analysis showed favorable results for functional performance in control group performing conventional therapy, measured by the functional independence measure (standardized mean difference (SMD)= −0.70; 95% confidence interval: −1.25 to −0.15). Results were inconclusive for other outcomes. Most studies have not shown beneficial effects on functional performance compared with conventional physical therapy. The results obtained showed that virtual reality may not be more effective than conventional physical therapy in improving functional performance in patients with SCI. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual reality; neurological rehabilitation; spinal cord injuries; physical therapy; functional performance; quality of life virtual reality; neurological rehabilitation; spinal cord injuries; physical therapy; functional performance; quality of life
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De Miguel-Rubio, A.; Rubio, M.D.; Salazar, A.; Camacho, R.; Lucena-Anton, D. Effectiveness of Virtual Reality on Functional Performance after Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 2065.

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