Virtual Reality Rehabilitation Based on Neurologic Music Therapy: A Qualitative Preliminary Clinical Study
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Neurological disorders, as stroke, and their consequences are a leading cause of death and disability around the world and most of the survivors experience mainly chronic motor deficits associated with reduced social and personal quality of life. Thus, there is a need to identify the best training strategy for the retraining of motor function of the UL.
In this paper, we describe a novel, therapeutic VR system combining Presence Positive Technologies for Well-being and techniques of Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT), for a more efficient retraining of the motor function of the UL of a stroke suffered patients. For the adequate movements that constitute the training exercises, a team of doctors of KAT hospital in Athens, Greece, aided us in our clinical study. The main objective of the described method is to use the Virtual Environment (VE) with natural hand tracking as the main training platform, providing a proper sensory stimulus to the process of motor control retraining. This innovative enhancement of VE rehabilitation with NMT techniques, which are based on triggering music perception and production areas in the human brain, provides a new, more effective solution to stroke patients, presenting an upper limb hemiparesis, in order to improve the fine movements of their paretic hand and support self-efficacy. We observed in our qualitative clinical study that this system has helped patients to improve their kinetic performance, in a faster, more efficient and motivating manner, encouraging them to understand mainly the mechanism of motor action and providing them with better feedback, motivational enhancement and social reward. This constitutes a holistic approach, concurrently satisfying both their multidimensional cognitive and movement needs.
KeywordsHuman-computer interaction Virtual Reality Neurologic music therapy Physical rehabilitation medicine Neurological disorders Stroke Self-efficacy
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