Aim: To examine the effects of conventional therapy (CT) combined with intensive virtual reality (VR) program on upper extremity function and activities of daily living (ADL) in individuals in the acute stage of stroke.
Method: Twenty-six individuals were randomly assigned to the control or experimental group. The control group received CT, while the experimental group received VR training in addition to CT on same day. The Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) and the Manual Function Test (MFT) were used to measure improvement of functioning in the affected limb and the Korean version of the Modified Barthel Index (K-MBI) was conducted to evaluate ADL.
Result: In tests of upper extremity functioning, VR group showed significant improvement on FMA and MFT (p< 0.05). In the CT group, only FMA score showed significant change (p< 0.05). ADL performance improved significantly in both groups (p< 0.05). However, there were no significant differences between the two groups in upper extremity function and ADL performance (p> 0.05).
Conclusion: This study observed that VR training has the advantage of improving intended arm function during intensive training for individuals in the acute stage of stroke.