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Development of virtual environments for patient-centered rehabilitation

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5 Author(s)
Koenig, Sebastian T. ; University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand ; Dunser, Andreas ; Bartneck, C. ; Dalrymple-Alford, John C.
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Context-sensitive rehabilitation integrates the individual background, needs, and strengths into the therapy of brain-injured patients [1]. Virtual environments can potentially enrich such individual rehabilitation approaches by providing realistic, lifelike situations for patients to train in. Virtual scenarios mostly are of high ecological validity, but usually require a long and costly development process. In order to use virtual environments for context-sensitive rehabilitation, an efficient workflow needs to be created which allows for rapid, cost-efficient development of such computer-based tools. The present study describes the requirements that are necessary for a clinic-based workflow and addresses each requirement in detail. Several complex virtual rooms within a rehabilitation hospital have been created and tested. Workflow efficiency, realism of virtual environments and validity of task-based use of these applications have been evaluated with healthy and brain-injured individuals. The virtual scenarios met requirements for timely production, and realism. The outcome of a mental map task, which was integrated intone environment, supports the validity of virtual cognitive assessments. Overall, results of this study suggest that individual virtual environments are a feasible addition to traditional context-sensitive rehabilitation.

Published in:

Virtual Rehabilitation (ICVR), 2011 International Conference on

Date of Conference:

27-29 June 2011

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