Special Issue "Virtual Reality and Robotics Interventions for Neurological Diseases"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Artificial Intelligence in Medicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2023 | Viewed by 1962

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Pawel Kiper
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit, Azienda ULSS 3 Serenissima, 30126 Venice, Italy
Interests: stroke; virtual reality; robotics; rehabilitation; neurorehabilitation; neurological diseases, motor learning
Prof. Dr. Carlos Luque Moreno
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Physiotherapy Department, University of Seville, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Interests: virtual reality; gait analysis; physiotherapy; neurorehabilitation; dry needling; neurological disorders, stroke, multiple sclerosis
Dr. Błażej Cieślik
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Health Science, Jan Dlugosz University, 42-200 Częstochowa, Poland
Interests: mental health; psychiatric disorders; body balance; postural stability; telerehabilitation; virtual reality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the 21st century, the use of technology in the field of medicine looks promising. The utilization of robotics, health wearables, and telemedicine, in general, is becoming more common in clinical practice. Another form of new technology, virtual reality (VR), has become a subject of interest among researchers around the world. VR can cover a wide spectrum of technologies, starting from simple feedback using a monitor, through the very popular head-mounted display (VR goggle), to advanced EMG-based robotic devices that can be integrated within the VR environment. Apart from physical therapy, VR has also been used to improve the mental state of neurological patients. Immersion through VR is also related to the notion of “escapism”, meaning an escape from reality into the world of fiction and illusion, which in turn can positively affect mental health. The above examples show the spectrum of VR applications at random; however, this area is still a technological novelty. Studies focusing on acceptability, feasibility, tolerability, and initial clinical efficacy studies are still needed, but so are randomized controlled trials that compare clinically important outcomes between intervention and control conditions, as well as high-quality systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Therefore, in light of the rapid expansion of the virtual reality field, we propose this Special Issue for a contribution within the innovative technologies field. We invite the submission of original research on VR support, treatment, and/or assessment in neurological diseases. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses will also be welcomed.

Dr. Pawel Kiper
Prof. Dr. Carlos Luque Moreno
Dr. Błażej Cieślik
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • virtual reality
  • neurorehabilitation
  • stroke
  • recovery of function
  • neurological diseases
  • multiple sclerosis
  • cerebral palsy
  • robotics
  • parkinson’s disease
  • mental health

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Virtual Feedback for Arm Motor Function Rehabilitation after Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Healthcare 2022, 10(7), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10071175 - 23 Jun 2022
Viewed by 364
Abstract
A single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare whether the continuous visualization of a virtual teacher, during virtual reality rehabilitation, is more effective than the same treatment provided without a virtual teacher visualization, for the recovery of arm motor function after stroke. [...] Read more.
A single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare whether the continuous visualization of a virtual teacher, during virtual reality rehabilitation, is more effective than the same treatment provided without a virtual teacher visualization, for the recovery of arm motor function after stroke. Teacher and no-teacher groups received the same amount of virtual reality therapy (i.e., 1 h/d, 5 dd/w, 4 ww) and an additional hour of conventional therapy. In the teacher group, specific feedback (“virtual-teacher”) showing the correct kinematic to be emulated by the patient was always displayed online during exercises. In the no-teacher group patients performed the same exercises, without the virtual-teacher assistance. The primary outcome measure was Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity after treatment. 124 patients were enrolled and randomized, 62 per group. No differences were observed between the groups, but the same number of patients (χ2 = 0.29, p = 0.59) responded to experimental and control interventions in each group. The results confirm that the manipulation of a single instant feedback does not provide clinical advantages over multimodal feedback for arm rehabilitation after stroke, but combining 40 h conventional therapy and virtual reality provides large effect of intervention (i.e., Cohen’s d 1.14 and 0.92 for the two groups, respectively). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virtual Reality and Robotics Interventions for Neurological Diseases)
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Article
The Use of Virtual Therapy in Cardiac Rehabilitation of Male Patients with Coronary Heart Disease: A Randomized Pilot Study
Healthcare 2022, 10(4), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10040745 - 16 Apr 2022
Viewed by 548
Abstract
The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality therapy (VRT) in the treatment of anxiety–depressive disorders and in reducing stress levels in a group of men with coronary heart disease (CHD) participating in cardiac rehabilitation (CR). The study included 34 men [...] Read more.
The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality therapy (VRT) in the treatment of anxiety–depressive disorders and in reducing stress levels in a group of men with coronary heart disease (CHD) participating in cardiac rehabilitation (CR). The study included 34 men with CHD who were assigned to the experimental group (EG) or the control group (CG). CR in the EG was supported by 8 VRT sessions, while CR in the CG was supplemented with 8 SAT sessions. Anxiety–depressive disorders were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Perceived stress was assessed using the Perception of Stress Questionnaire (PSQ). In the EG, all measured parameters improved after the intervention. Significant reductions in HADS total score, the HADS-A, general stress score, emotional tension, and the external stress were obtained. In the CG, a deterioration in all measured parameters was observed. Significant changes were obtained in the general stress score and intrapsychic stress. The analysis between groups showed that the effectiveness of psychological interventions significantly differed between groups. The study results confirmed that supplementing standard CR with VRT leads to an improvement in the mental state of the patients and thus has a positive effect on the course of CR. However, the small sample size and high withdrawal rate prompt cautious interpretation of the results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virtual Reality and Robotics Interventions for Neurological Diseases)
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Communication
The Application of Balance Exercise Using Virtual Reality for Rehabilitation
Healthcare 2022, 10(4), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10040680 - 04 Apr 2022
Viewed by 578
Abstract
To prevent falls, it is important to devise a safe balance training program that can be easily performed. This study investigated whether tilting an image in virtual reality (VR) can generate a center-of-gravity sway. Five men and five women were asked to rest [...] Read more.
To prevent falls, it is important to devise a safe balance training program that can be easily performed. This study investigated whether tilting an image in virtual reality (VR) can generate a center-of-gravity sway. Five men and five women were asked to rest standing upright (control condition) and to rest standing upright with a head-mounted display showing a tilted virtual image (VR condition), and changes in their standing balance were observed. Standing balance was assessed by measuring the distance traveled by the center of pressure (COP) of each of the participants’ legs. In order to investigate the effects of different tilt speeds and angles on COP, four different images were displayed in VR: an image tilting to 10° moving at a rate of 1°/s; an image tilting to 20° moving 1°/s; an image tilting to 10° moving 10°/s; an image tilting to 20° moving 10°/s. Change in COP was significantly greater in the VR than in the control condition (p < 0.01), and a tilt of 10° moving 1°/s showed the greatest change in COP (p < 0.01). Tilting an image in VR while in a resting standing position can change an individual’s COP; thus, VR may be applied to balance training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virtual Reality and Robotics Interventions for Neurological Diseases)
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