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RabbitRun: An Immersive Virtual Reality Game for Promoting Physical Activities Among People with Low Back Pain

1
Information System Department, College of Computer and Information Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11495, Saudi Arabia
2
Information Technology Department, College of Computer and Information Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11495, Saudi Arabia
3
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11495, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA 2018), Island of Rhodes, Greece, 26–29 June 2018.
Technologies 2019, 7(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies7010002
Received: 20 October 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 20 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA))
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Abstract

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common problems among adults. The usual physiotherapy treatment is to perform physical exercises. However, some LBP patients have false beliefs regarding their pain and they tend to avoid physical movements which might increase their pain and disability. Virtual reality (VR) has proven to be an effective intervention in improving motor functions and reducing pain perception. Existing VR interventions for LBP rehabilitation were based on a non-immersive VR, whereas to effectively reduce the pain intensity, we need an immersive VR. In this paper, we introduce the development and evaluation of a serious game called RabbitRun with an immersive experience to engage the patients in a virtual environment and distract them from the pain while performing LBP exercises. The initial usability evaluation results suggest that RabbitRun game is enjoyable and acceptable. The game is easy to play and learn and most of the participants are willing to play the game at home. This solution will enhance the rehabilitation outcome since the patients who are suffering from LBP can use the system at their home and train more for long period of time using a smartphone and low-cost virtual reality device, such as Google Cardboard. View Full-Text
Keywords: low back pain; virtual reality; virtual rehabilitation; serious game; gamification low back pain; virtual reality; virtual rehabilitation; serious game; gamification
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Alazba, A.; Al-Khalifa, H.; AlSobayel, H. RabbitRun: An Immersive Virtual Reality Game for Promoting Physical Activities Among People with Low Back Pain. Technologies 2019, 7, 2.

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