Objective. To critically evaluate the studies that were conducted over the past 10 years and to assess the impact of virtual reality on static and dynamic balance control in the stroke population.
Method. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials published between January 2006 and December 2015 was conducted. Databases searched were PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Studies must have involved adult patients with stroke during acute, subacute, or chronic phase. All included studies must have assessed the impact of virtual reality programme on either static or dynamic balance ability and compared it with a control group. The Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale was used to assess the methodological quality of the included studies.
Results. Nine studies were included in this systematic review. The PEDro scores ranged from 4 to 9 points. All studies, except one, showed significant improvement in static or dynamic balance outcomes group.
Conclusions. This review provided moderate evidence to support the fact that virtual reality training is an effective adjunct to standard rehabilitation programme to improve balance for patients with chronic stroke. The effect of VR training in balance recovery is less clear in patients with acute or subacute stroke. Further research is required to investigate the optimum training intensity and frequency to achieve the desired outcome