Virtual Reality Intervention for Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review.




Liu, Howe
Tran, Kelly
Salem, Yasser
Henry, Zach


Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Purpose: With growing evidence supporting the use of Virtual Reality (VR) for people with Parkinson's Disease (PD) as an effective treatment technique to improve functional mobility. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the evidence with regard to the effectiveness of VR for improving mobility function in individuals with PD. Number of subjects: A systematic review of literature including 22 studies with a total of 569. Methods: Literature search included the following databases: PubMed, Scopus, PEDro, and CINAHL using the following terms: virtual reality, games, and gaming with PD. There were two reviewers that independently reviewed, extracted data, and assessed quality of articles. A third reviewer was utilized when there was a disagreement between the two reviewers. Results: Analysis of the included studies indicated that 19 out of 22 studies demonstrated a statistically significant improvement of their outcome measures following the use of VR intervention. Out of the 22 studies, 10 studies conducted a follow-up to evaluate the long-term effects of VR. Eight out of the ten studies that conducted a follow-up showed lasting effects of VR intervention. Conclusions: The mobility decline associated with PD has been shown to contribute to a decrease in daily living activities, decreased community participation, and depression. Virtual reality and gaming may have the potential to combat the mobility deficits associated with PD more effectively to improve the functional mobility and quality of life of patients. Future studies should investigate long term retention and patient compliance to home-based VR.