Can Immersive Virtual Reality Videogames Help Parkinson's Disease Patients? A Case Study

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Jul 15;21(14):4825. doi: 10.3390/s21144825.


Video games have proven useful in physical rehabilitation therapy. Accessibility, however, is limited for some groups such as the elderly or patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). We explore the potential of fully immersive video games as a rehabilitation tool in PD patients. Four patients with mild-moderate PD (3 males:1 female, 53-71 years) participated in the study. Training consisted in two immersive virtual reality video gaming sessions. Outcomes were evaluated using System Usability Scale (SUS), Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ), Game Experience Questionnaire-post game (GEQ), an ad hoc satisfaction questionnaire and perceived effort. All participants completed the sessions without adverse effects (100%), without SSQ symptoms reported. Post-gaming SUS was >75% in both sessions (range 75-80%). Post-gaming GEQ scores were 3.3-4.0/4 in both sessions. Immersive virtual reality video gaming is feasible in patients with mild-moderate PD, with positive usability and patient satisfaction, and no adverse effects.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; exergaming; games for health; neurological rehabilitation; older adults; video games; virtual reality exposure therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parkinson Disease* / diagnosis
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Video Games*
  • Virtual Reality*

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