The Efficacy of a Haptic-Enhanced Virtual Reality System for Precision Grasp Acquisition in Stroke Rehabilitation

Shih Ching Yeh, Si Huei Lee, Rai Chi Chan, Yi Wu, Li Rong Zheng, Sheryl Flynn

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26 Scopus citations


Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability, and virtual reality- (VR-) based stroke rehabilitation is effective in increasing motivation and the functional performance. Although much of the functional reach and grasp capabilities of the upper extremities were regained, the pinch movement remains impaired following stroke. In this study, we developed a haptic-enhanced VR system to simulate haptic pinch tasks to assist the recovery of upper-extremity fine motor function. We recruited 16 adults with stroke to verify the efficacy of this new VR system. Each patient received 30 min VR training sessions 3 times per week for 8 weeks. Outcome measures, Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA), Test Evaluant les Membres superieurs des Personnes Agees (TEMPA), Wolf motor function test (WMFT), Box and Block test (BBT), and Jamar grip dynamometer, showed statistically significant progress from pretest to posttest and follow-up, indicating that the proposed system effectively promoted fine motor recovery of function. Additionally, our evidence suggests that this system was also effective under certain challenging conditions such as being in the chronic stroke phase or a coside of lesion and dominant hand (nondominant hand impaired). System usability assessment indicated that the participants strongly intended to continue using this VR-based system in rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9840273
JournalJournal of Healthcare Engineering
StatePublished - 2017


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