Rationale: Many Americans live with physical functional limitations stemming from stroke. These functional limitations can be reduced by task-specific training that is repetitive, motivating, and augmented with feedback. Virtual reality (VR) is reported to offer an engaging environment that is repetitive, safe, motivating, and gives task-specific feedback. The purpose of this case report was to explore the use of a low-cost VR device [Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2) EyeToy] for an individual in the chronic phase of stroke recovery.
Case: An individual two years poststroke with residual sensorimotor deficits completed 20 one-hour sessions using the PS2 EyeToy. The game's task requirements included target-based motion, dynamic balance, and motor planning. The feasibility of using the gaming platform was explored and a broad selection of outcomes was used to assess change in performance.
Outcomes: Device use was feasible. Clinically relevant improvements were found on the Dynamic Gait Index and trends toward improvement on the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Berg Balance Scale, UE Functional Index, Motor Activity Log, and Beck Depression Inventory.
Conclusion: A low-cost VR system was easily used in the home. In the future it may be used to improve sensory/motor recovery following stroke as an adjunct to standard care physical therapy.