Post-stroke cognitive disorders can affect different domains, depending on typology of stroke and lesion localization, onset time, age and diagnostic tools used. In recent years, telerehabilitation using virtual reality has been used to reduce the healthcare costs encouraging continuity of care.
The aim of our study is to evaluate the efficacy of a virtual reality rehabilitation system in improving cognitive function in stroke survivors. Forty patients affected by stroke were enrolled in this study and randomized into either the control or the experimental groups in order of recruitment.
The study lasted 6 months, and included two phases: (1) during the first phase the experimental group underwent cognitive rehabilitation training using the Virtual Reality Rehabilitation System-Evo, whereas the control group was submitted to standard cognitive training; (2) in the second phase (after discharge), the experimental group was treated by means of virtual reality rehabilitation system Home Tablet (three sessions a week, each session lasting about 50 minutes), and the control group continued the traditional training, with the same amount of treatment. The patients underwent a neuropsychological evaluation before and at the end of the treatment. Linear mixed-effects analysis results showed that the scores of Montreal overall cognitive assessment, attentive matrices, Trail Making Test B, Phonemic Fluency, Semantic Fluency, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test I, Hamilton Rating Scale-Anxiety and Hamilton Rating Scale-Depression were affected by the type of the rehabilitative treatment.
Our data show the effectiveness of telerehabilitation for the treatment of cognitive disorders following stroke.