Virtual reality (VR) systems have been shown to be effective for the treatment of patients with motor impairments; however, the exact characteristics that lead to improvements are not well understood. There are numerous separate components that together constitute a virtual environment, such as avatars, game objects, the virtual world, or sound effects. And it is this level of detail that needs to be considered during the design and development of therapeutic VR applications. In order to be able to gain from best-practice during the design process, the available design options need to be analyzed in a framework. We propose to separate the mainly visual feedback provided by VR systems and identify three distinct feedback types that are important for motor rehabilitation (see [1,2]). Within this general framework we want to organize with your help a systematic overview of best-practice that may give advice to developers of VR rehabilitation systems and that may aid the analysis and description of available systems in future studies. more info here
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The patients' movements are represented in VR, such that motor actions are captured and transferred to e.g. a graphical object that is synchronously animated. To orient themselves in the virtual world and to manipulate objects, patients have to identify with the movement representation.
The patients have to accomplish tasks and gain information (e.g. KP/KR) about their performance. The task as well as the points or level will be displayed in some way in order to add meaning to the patients exercises and inform them about their progress.
Background objects and animations give the VR system the impression of a real (while not necessarily realistic!) environment that is not just a technical artefact for therapeutic purposes. Atmospheric sensory stimuli in the form of sounds can add to the vividness of the experience. In telereha and multi-user settings other persons' avatars will be represented.
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 Schüler, T., Ferreira dos Santos, L., & Hoermann, S. (2015). Designing virtual environments for motor rehabilitation: towards a framework for the integration of best-practice information. Presented at the International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation ICVR, Valencia. Awarded: Best Poster - Honourable Mention
 Schüler, T., Ferreira dos Santos, L., & Hoermann, S. (2014). Harnessing the experience of presence for virtual motor rehabilitation: towards a guideline for the development of virtual reality environments. Presented at the International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies ICDVRAT, Gothenburg.