The Effect of Virtual Reality Environment during Robotic‑Assisted Locomotor Training on Gross Motor Functions in Patients with Cerebral Palsy

Authors: S. Klobucká 1;  E. Žiaková 1,2;  R. Klobucký 3
Authors‘ workplace: Rehabilitačné centrum Harmony, Bratislava 1;  Slovenská zdravotnícka univerzitav Bratislave, FO a ZOŠ 2;  Sociologický ústav, Slovenská akadémia vied, Bratislava 3
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2013; 76/109(6): 702-711
Category: Original Paper


The aim of study was to examine the effect of virtual reality during Robotic‑Assisted Treadmill Training (RATT) on gross motor functions in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP).

Material and methods:
Fourty-two children (25 boys) with bilateral spastic CP, aged 4.3– 12.9 years underwent 20 sessions of RATT during 4– 6‑week period with frequency of 3- to 5- times a week using driven gait orthosis Lokomat. Patients were randomly allocated into two groups according to whether they trained in a virtual reality environment (VR‑LOKO, n = 26) or not (LOKO, n = 16). Outcome measures were dimensions A (lying, rolling), B (sitting), C (crawling, kneeling), D (standing), E (walking, running, jumping) of the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM).

After completing 20 sessions, patients in both groups demonstrated highly statistically significant improvement (p < 0.001) in all dimensions of the GMFM. Comparing the mean improvement in outcome parameters in both groups (LOKO vs VR‑LOKO), we do­cumented a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) in the A and C dimensions, and overall improvement in the GMFM in favour of patients in VR‑LOKO group.

The results of our study indicate that the use of virtual reality during RATT has an effect on the achieved improvement in some motor functions in CP patients. VR‑based training conditions represent a valuable approach to enhancing active participation during RATT in children with CP.

Key words:
treadmill – cerebral palsy – motor function

The authors declare they have no potential conflicts of interest concerning drugs, products, or services used in the study.

The Editorial Board declares that the manu­script met the ICMJE “uniform requirements” for biomedical papers.


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