Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality interventions for improving balance in people after stroke.
Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Methods: Studies were obtained by searching the following databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Web of Science and CENTRAL. Two reviewers assessed studies for inclusion, extracted data and assessed trial quality.
Results: Sixteen studies involving 428 participants were included. People who received virtual reality interventions showed marked improvements in Berg Balance Scale (mean difference: 1.46, 95% confidence interval: 0.09-2.83, P<0.05, I²=0%) and Timed Up and Go Test (mean difference: -1.62, 95% confidence interval: -3.07- -0.16, P<0.05, I²=24%) compared with controls.
Conclusions: This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials supports the use of virtual reality to improve balance after stroke.
Keywords: Balance; meta-analysis; rehabilitation; stroke; virtual reality.
© The Author(s) 2015.