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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9840273, 9 pages
Research Article

The Efficacy of a Haptic-Enhanced Virtual Reality System for Precision Grasp Acquisition in Stroke Rehabilitation

1School of Information Science and Technology, Fudan University, Shanghai City, China
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan and National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
3Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
4Blue Marble Game Ltd., Los Angeles, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Si-Huei Lee; moc.liamg@ieuhiseel

Received 2 June 2017; Revised 18 August 2017; Accepted 20 September 2017; Published 5 November 2017

Academic Editor: Yi-Hung Liu

Copyright © 2017 Shih-Ching Yeh 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.


Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability, and virtual reality- (VR-) based stroke rehabilitation is effective in increasing motivation and the functional performance. Although much of the functional reach and grasp capabilities of the upper extremities were regained, the pinch movement remains impaired following stroke. In this study, we developed a haptic-enhanced VR system to simulate haptic pinch tasks to assist the recovery of upper-extremity fine motor function. We recruited 16 adults with stroke to verify the efficacy of this new VR system. Each patient received 30 min VR training sessions 3 times per week for 8 weeks. Outcome measures, Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA), Test Evaluant les Membres superieurs des Personnes Agees (TEMPA), Wolf motor function test (WMFT), Box and Block test (BBT), and Jamar grip dynamometer, showed statistically significant progress from pretest to posttest and follow-up, indicating that the proposed system effectively promoted fine motor recovery of function. Additionally, our evidence suggests that this system was also effective under certain challenging conditions such as being in the chronic stroke phase or a coside of lesion and dominant hand (nondominant hand impaired). System usability assessment indicated that the participants strongly intended to continue using this VR-based system in rehabilitation.