Effectiveness of the virtual reality on cognitive function of children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: a single-blind randomized controlled trial

ARAN O. T., ŞAHİN S., Kose B., Agce Z. B., Kayihan H.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REHABILITATION RESEARCH, vol.43, no.1, pp.12-19, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/mrr.0000000000000378
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, CINAHL, Compendex, EBSCO Education Source, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.12-19
  • Keywords: cerebral palsy, cognitive function, rehabilitation, virtual reality, OCCUPATIONAL-THERAPY, REHABILITATION, CLASSIFICATION, ADOLESCENTS, IMPAIRMENT, GAME
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Cerebral palsy is a term covering non-progressive motor and cognitive impairments caused by lesions of the brain. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality-based rehabilitation program for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy on cognitive functions. Ninety children (47 boys, 43 girls) with hemiplegic cerebral palsy were randomized to either study (n = 45; 11.18 +/- 3.37 years) or control (n = 45; 11.06 +/- 3.24 years) groups. The study group received virtual reality intervention in addition to Traditional Occupational Therapy intervention, and the control group received Traditional Occupational Therapy for 20 sessions. Both groups were evaluated by blinded assessors with Dynamic Occupational Therapy Cognitive Assessment for Children to collect information on cognitive functioning. Both groups' cognitive functions were improved after 10 weeks of interventions. The between-group comparison revealed significantly greater improvements in all subtest of cognitive functions in the virtual reality group than in the Traditional Occupational Therapy group (P < 0.001). Our results showed that 10 weeks of virtual reality-based rehabilitation enhanced cognitive functions in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Using virtual reality applications in cognitive rehabilitation was recommended to improve spatial perception, praxis, visuomotor construction and thinking operations in children with cerebral palsy.