Development of a virtual reality-based intervention for community walking post stroke: an integrated knowledge translation approach

Purpose. To develop a virtual reality (VR) based intervention targeting community walking requirements.

Methods. Two focus groups each involving 7 clinicians allowed exploring optimal features, needed support and perceived favorable/unfavorable factors associated with the use of the VR-based intervention from the clinicians’ perspective. Three stroke survivors and 2 clinicians further interacted with the intervention and filled questionnaires related to acceptability and favorable/unfavorable perceptions on the VR intervention. Stroke participants additionally rated their perceived effort (NASA Tax Load Index), presence (Slater-Usoh-Steed) and cybersickness (Simulator Sickness Questionnaire).

Results. Results identified optimal features (patient eligibility criteria, task complexity), needed support (training, human assistance), as well as favorable (cognitive stimulation, engagement, representativeness of therapeutic goals) and unfavorable factors (misalignment with a natural walking pattern, client suitability, generalization to real-life) associated with the intervention. Acceptability scores following the interaction with the tool were 28 and 42 (max 56) for clinicians and ranged from 43 to 52 for stroke participants. Stroke participants reported moderate perceptions of effort (range:20-33/max:60), high levels of presence (29-42/42) and minimal cybersickness (0-3/64).

Conclusion. Findings collected in the early development phase of the VR intervention will allow addressing favorable/unfavorable factors and incorporating desired optimal features, prior to conducting effectiveness and implementation studies.

Villeneuve Myriam
Ogourtsova Tatiana
Blanchette Andréanne
Bühler Marco A.
McFadyen Bradford J.
Menon Anita
Perez Claire
Sangani Samir
Lamontagne Anouk
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Villeneuve, M., Ogourtsova, T., Deblock-Bellamy, A., Blanchette, A., Bühler, A. M., Fung, J., McFadyen, B. J., Menon, A., Perez, C., Sangani, S. & Lamontagne, A. (2023). Development  of  a  virtual  reality-based  intervention  for  community  walking  post  stroke:  an  integrated  knowledge  translation  approach. Disability and Rehabilitation.