Tele-Rehabilitation with Virtual Reality: A Case Report on the Simultaneous, Remote Training of Two Patients with Parkinson Disease

Pablo Cornejo Thumm, Nir Giladi, Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, Anat Mirelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Physical training in Parkinson disease improves motor performance, alleviates nonmotor symptoms, and enhances cognition and quality of life. Nonetheless, adherence to exercise is low and travel costs and time may limit participation and compliance. Training at home can help avoid these burdens and, as needed during the recent global pandemic (COVID-19), reinforce social distancing and reduce the risk of infection. However, training at home requires motivation and self-control and telerehabilitation is time-consuming for both patient and therapist. In recent years, there is growing use of virtual reality and exergaming to increase motivation and adherence for exercising with evidence of improvements in mobility and balance after using virtual reality in the clinic. Here, a novel telerehabilitation training program using a treadmill-virtual reality system for simultaneous training of two patients with Parkinson disease in their homes is described. Remote monitoring software enabled visual and auditory communication with the two patients, allowing the trainer to adapt the settings remotely and provide feedback. Participants received weekly training sessions over 1 yr. The findings show high adherence to training, increased walking duration throughout the sessions, and increased patient confidence, gait speed, and mobility. Training multiple participants simultaneously was feasible, enabling an individualized treatment approach while conserving therapist time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-438
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume100
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2021

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