Virtual reality in a rehabilitation setting consists a computer-generated environment that allows for a three-dimensional, real-time tool for recovery. The benefits of virtual reality are that it can be programmed to be relevant to patients, and the environment can be controlled so that specific stimuli can be presented without distractions.
Rehabilitation for severe traumatic brain injury can be difficult because it is often not well-tolerated by patients who are in an agitated state, in pain, or are not able to focus or perform well. A recent study using virtual reality for the rehabilitation of attention deficits for severe traumatic brain injury patients found that the program not only was effective at improving attention, but that the virtual reality environment was well-tolerated. Patients were able to comfortably complete the rehabilitation program without distraction-a huge plus for a challenging population.
Larson EB, Ramaiya M, Zollman FS, et al. Tolerance of a virtual reality intervention for attention remediation in persons with severe TBI. Brain Injury. (March 2011).