Not just fun and games: Applications of virtual reality in the identification and rehabilitation of cognitive disorders of the elderly

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Abstract

Purpose. To outline the evidence in the published medical literature suggesting the potential applications of virtual reality (VR) for the identification and rehabilitation of cognitive disorders of the elderly. Method. Non-systematic literature review. Results. VR, despite its more common usage by younger persons, is a potentially promising source of techniques useful in the identification and rehabilitation of cognitive disorders of the elderly. Systems employing VR can include desktop and head-mounted visual displays among other devices. Thus far, published studies have described VR-based applications in the identification and treatment of deficits in navigational skills in ambulation and driving. In addition, VR has been utilised to enhance the ability to perform activities of daily living in patients with dementia, stroke, and Parkinson's Disease. Such investigations have thus far been small, and unblinded. Conclusions. VR-based applications can potentially offer more versatile, comprehensive, and safer assessments of function. However, they also might be more expensive, complex and more difficult to use by elderly patients. Side effects of head-mounted visual displays include nausea and disorientation, but, have not been reported specifically in older subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-289
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

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Patient rehabilitation
Virtual reality
Rehabilitation
Head
Confusion
Aptitude
Activities of Daily Living
Nausea
Walking
Parkinson Disease
Dementia
Stroke
Display devices
Equipment and Supplies
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • reality
  • Virtual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Rehabilitation

Cite this

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