Virtual reality for improving balance in patients after stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Rehabil. 2016 May;30(5):432-40. doi: 10.1177/0269215515593611. Epub 2015 Jul 3.


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.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology
  • Sensation Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy / methods*