Applicability and evaluation of the GestureChair virtual game: comparison between people with and without spinal cord injury

Renata dos Santos Krutli, Géssica Soares Calixto, Mariana Midori Sime, Paulo Vinicius Braga Mendes, Alexandre Fonseca Brandão, Débora Couto De Melo Carrijo, Daniel Marinho Cezar da Cruz

Abstract


Introduction: Spinal cord injury rehabilitation requires updating from professionals regarding the possible interventions that can enhance recovery. Virtual reality (VR) games have become evident as a resource used in the rehabilitation process. Their effectiveness is based on the theory of neuronal reorganization, mediated by mirror neurons, responsible for motor imagery. Objectives: To test the applicability and evaluation of the virtual game Gesture Chair by people with and without spinal cord injury, to identify users' perceptions about the characteristics and demands of the VR game after its use and compare the immediate effects of the game on motor performance components in both groups. Method: We analyzed upper limb range of motion (ROM) after performing a practice using the exergame in a sample of five subjects with spinal cord injury and a comparative group with five other participants. The game was applied for 15 minutes, counting periods of activity and rest, while the subject remained seated. Results: The number of subjects in the sample does not allow statistically significant results on changes in shoulder ROM; however, factors that interfered with performance, perceptions about initial contact with the activity, presence of muscular fatigue and pain that may be present related to the increase of energy expenditure during the action were identified. Regarding the interest, there were reports of demotivation and disinterest, but there were also reports considering the activity motivating. Conclusion: The study implies the importance of the process of choosing individualized resources during the rehabilitation process and the need for adaptation among users of novel technologies. Future studies will be able to analyze the enhancement of the game with different users.

Keywords


virtual reality; rehabilitation; spinal cord injury; evaluation; occupational therapy

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