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Performance within a virtual supermarket and its relationship to executive functions in post-stroke patients

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7 Author(s)
Josman, N. ; Dept. of Occupational Therapy, Haifa Univ. ; Hof, E. ; Klinger, E. ; Marie, R.M.
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Executive functions are defined as higher-order functions that are needed for performing complex or non-routine tasks. People who have had a stroke often suffer from impairments in executive functions which have implications for their ability to return to full participation in their everyday activities and occupations. During the rehabilitation process clinicians seek opportunities, which will not be time consuming or expensive, to engage patients in complex functional activities, in order to train and improve deficits in executive functions. One solution for this is using functional virtual environments. The objectives of this study were to examine the feasibility of using a virtual supermarket to assess and treat executive function deficits for people who have had a stroke, and to explore the relationships between performance within the virtual supermarket and executive functions. The virtual supermarket used in this study runs on a desktop computer and is easy to operate in typical clinical settings. Twenty-six people, aged 31 to 65 years, who had a stroke participated in the study. Participants were tested with the virtual supermarket where they were asked to buy seven products from a prepared list. Each participant was also tested with the behavioral assessment of the dysexecutive syndrome. The results showed a large variance of performance within the virtual supermarket. In addition, moderate relationships were found between performance within the virtual supermarket and executive functions. The results point to the potential of the virtual supermarket to be used as an assessment and training tool for executive functions of people who have had a stroke

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Virtual Rehabilitation, 2006 International Workshop on

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