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To understand the evidence for the use of virtual reality to improve activities of daily living for individuals with acquired brain injury.
The following electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed journal articles: MEDLINE, CINAHL, PubMed, PsycINFO. Search terms included MeSH terms related to brain injury, activity of daily living function, and virtual reality.
Journal articles were included if they were published after 1990, explored the use and effectiveness of virtual reality to improve activities of daily living after brain injury, and included participants over the age of 18 with stroke or moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. Systematic and scoping reviews were excluded.
This scoping review was conducted using the six-stage framework of Arksey and O'Malley (2005). Two independent reviewers screened for title and abstract, as well as full text review. Article information was extracted (e.g., study details, purpose, methods, participant information) as well as the primary and secondary outcomes, types of virtual reality interventions used, and results.
There were 1680 articles screened, including 412 full text articles. Ultimately, 24 articles were identified that described the use of virtual reality to improve activities of daily living after brain injury. The methodology of studies were mixed, with most being case-control designs. Many studies used non-immersive virtual reality technologies to improve daily skills such as, grocery shopping and making meals. Most studies were conducted on individuals with stroke versus traumatic brain injury.
Rehabilitation professionals can understand the usability of virtual reality to improve activities of daily living in individuals with acquired brain injury.
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