Objective: This article describes the findings of a study examining the ability of persons with strokes to use home virtual rehabilitation system (HoVRS), a home-based rehabilitation system, and the impact of motivational enhancement techniques on subjects’ motivation, adherence, and motor function improvements subsequent to a 3-month training program.
Materials and Methods: HoVRS integrates a Leap Motion controller, a passive arm support, and a suite of custom-designed hand rehabilitation simulations. For this study, we developed a library of three simulations, which include activities such as flexing and extending fingers to move a car, flying a plane with wrist movement, and controlling an avatar running in a maze using reaching movements. Two groups of subjects, the enhanced motivation (EM) group and the unenhanced control (UC) group, used the system for 12 weeks in their homes. The EM group trained using three simulations that provided 8–12 levels of difficulty and complexity. Graphics and scoring opportunities increased at each new level. The UC group performed the same simulations, but difficulty was increased utilizing an algorithm that increased difficulty incrementally, making adjustments imperceptible.
Results: Adherence to both the EM and UC protocols exceeded adherence to home exercise programs described in the stroke rehabilitation literature. Both groups demonstrated improvements in upper extremity function. Intrinsic motivation levels were better for the EM group and motivation levels were maintained for the 12-week protocol.
Conclusion: A 12-week home-based training program using HoVRS was feasible. Motivational enhancement may have a positive impact on motivation, adherence, and motor outcome.