Background: A 2015 systematic review evaluated the efficacy of utilizing virtual reality in vestibular rehabilitation programs. However, the biggest limitation with most of the included virtual reality systems was the associated cost of the equipment. In addition, home-based exercises are the preferred method of vestibular rehabilitation treatments.
Objectives: The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the effectiveness of home-based virtual reality systems on vestibular rehabilitation outcomes.
Methods: The following databases were examined: CINAHL Complete, ProQuest Medical Database, and PubMed. The following search terms were utilized: ‘video OR computer’ AND ‘vestibular’ AND ‘home’. The evidence level for all of the included articles was evaluated using the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine 2011 Levels of Evidence and the methodological rigor for all of the included articles was evaluated using a 10-item tool created by Medlicott and Harris.
Results: Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, seven articles were selected for inclusion in this systematic review. This systematic review found that home-based virtual reality interventions were able to effectively achieve the primary objectives of vestibular rehabilitation and that the use of these interventions was equally as effective as the use of a traditional vestibular rehabilitation program. In addition, it may be most beneficial to combine virtual reality with traditional vestibular rehabilitation.
Conclusions: Clinicians should consider using a combination of virtual reality and traditional vestibular rehabilitation when treating individuals who have been diagnosed with a vestibular dysfunction.