Virtual reality training to enhance behavior and cognitive function among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: brief report

Dev Neurorehabil. 2019 Aug;22(6):431-436. doi: 10.1080/17518423.2018.1476602. Epub 2018 May 17.


Purpose: To examine the feasibility and efficacy of a combined motor-cognitive training using virtual reality to enhance behavior, cognitive function and dual-tasking in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Methods: Fourteen non-medicated school-aged children with ADHD, received 18 training sessions during 6 weeks. Training included walking on a treadmill while negotiating virtual obstacles. Behavioral symptoms, cognition and gait were tested before and after the training and at 6-weeks follow-up. Results: Based on parental report, there was a significant improvement in children's social problems and psychosomatic behavior after the training. Executive function and memory were improved post-training while attention was unchanged. Gait regularity significantly increased during dual-task walking. Long-term training effects were maintained in memory and executive function. Conclusion: Treadmill-training augmented with virtual-reality is feasible and may be an effective treatment to enhance behavior, cognitive function and dual-tasking in children with ADHD.

Keywords: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; child; executive function; exercise; virtual reality therapy.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / rehabilitation
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Executive Function
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Virtual Reality*