Virtual Reality as an Effective Therapeutic Intervention for Sport Injury
Jennifer Savage, Kinesiology; Chris Clark, Kinesiology
10:15-10:25am | Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor
Context: There are numerous therapeutic intervention tools that can provide effective management strategies for sports-related injuries. However, some therapeutic tools do not offer motivational qualities. Virtual reality is an emerging therapeutic intervention tool that is increasing in popularity in numerous areas. Thus, this leads us to investigate if virtual reality can be used effectively as a therapeutic intervention in the clinical setting for sport-related injuries.
Methods: A computerized search was completed in September 2021. The search terms used were “virtual reality”, “motivation”, and “physical rehabilitation”. Electronic databases used were SPORTDiscus and PubMed. Inclusion criteria: Studies published within the last 3 years, published in the English language, and used patients with physical impairments resulting from athletic activity or athletes in rehabilitation for an injury. Exclusion criteria: Studies that focused only on mental impairments and used participants within an education setting. Validity of the selected studies was determined using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database and the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies. One author independently reviewed the studies, scored each paper, and reviewed the completed appraisals to come to a consensus on study quality.
Results: The literature search retrieved 106 studies. Out of these studies, five studies met inclusion criteria. Akbas et al. performed a meta-analysis on competitive athletes using virtual reality and found virtual reality to be an effective tool to analyze sport performance. Ranjbarzadeh Yamchi et al. and Nambi et al. demonstrated how virtual reality can decrease pain perception, decrease fear of movement, and increase balance with physical impairments in low back pain and functional ankle instability. Zhang et al. and Dias et al. examined stroke patients and found virtual reality to be an effective tool in increasing symmetrical posture, balance, walking, self-care, and increased motivation in rehabilitation.
Conclusion: Findings suggest that virtual reality can be an effective therapeutic tool when incorporated in the physical rehabilitation of athletes or athletic patients. Virtual reality is an emerging therapeutic intervention tool that can provide components to improve patient effectiveness, motivation, and engagement during the injury recovery process. As technology is advanced, future studies should develop more specific programs tailored to injuries and conditions, to improve patient-centered care and outcomes.
student research, kinesiology
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Cody, Luke, "Virtual Reality as an Effective Therapeutic Intervention for Sport Injury" (2022). JSU Student Symposium 2022. 14.