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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 695935, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Rehabilitation of Children with Hemiparesis: A Pilot Study on the Use of Virtual Reality

Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS Foundation, Piazzale Morandi 6, 20121 Milan, Italy

Received 23 April 2013; Revised 29 August 2013; Accepted 1 September 2013

Academic Editor: Jacob J. Sosnoff

Copyright © 2013 Ivana Olivieri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. A wide range of treatments have been used to improve upper arm motor performances in children with congenital hemiplegia. Recent findings are suggesting that virtual reality based intervention could be a promising tool also in pediatric rehabilitation. Methods. Six patients with congenital hemiplegia (age: 4–16 years) were recruited among those treated in the Child Neuropsychiatry and Rehabilitation Unit of the IRCCS “Santa Maria Nascente” (Milan, Italy), for a preliminary investigation about using nonimmersive virtual reality for upper limb rehabilitation. Ten sessions using VRRS system (Khymeia, Padova, Italy) were weekly administered as a part of the rehabilitative treatment. Melbourne Assessment of Unilateral Limb Movement, Ashworth Scale, and Arm’s PROM were selected as main outcome measures. At the end of treatment, participants filled in an ad hoc satisfaction questionnaire. Results. All subjects completed the proposed treatment, and they also gave a positive judgment regarding this rehabilitative method. Melbourne score increased in all patients. Conclusion. Our findings seem to support the evidence that VR treatment could be a promising and engaging tool for pediatric rehabilitation. However, the limited size of the population and the small number of sessions require further investigations and RCTs to confirm our positive results.