An intensive virtual reality program improves functional balance and mobility of adolescents with cerebral palsy

Pediatr Phys Ther. 2011 Fall;23(3):258-66. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318227ca0f.


Purpose: To examine functional balance and mobility in adolescents with cerebral palsy classified at Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level I following an intensive short-duration virtual reality (VR) intervention.

Methods: Single-subject, multiple-baseline design with 4 adolescents. Outcomes included the Community Balance and Mobility Scale (CB&M), the 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), the Timed Up and Down Stairs, and the Gross Motor Function Measure Dimension E. Assessments were recorded 3 to 6 times at baseline, 5 times during intervention, and 4 times at follow-up. Daily 90-minute VR intervention was completed for 5 consecutive days. Visual, statistical, and clinical significance analyses were used.

Results: Statistically significant improvements were shown in all adolescents on CB&M and 6MWT. True change was recorded in all for the CB&M and in 3 for the 6MWT.

Conclusions: Functional balance and mobility in adolescents with cerebral palsy classified at GMFCS level I improve with intense, short duration VR intervention, and changes are maintained at 1-month posttraining.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Postural Balance
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • User-Computer Interface*
  • Walking