Interactive virtual feedback improves gait motor imagery after spinal cord injury: An exploratory study.

TitleInteractive virtual feedback improves gait motor imagery after spinal cord injury: An exploratory study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuteursRoosink, M, Robitaille, N, Jackson, PL, Bouyer, LJ, Mercier, C
JournalRestor Neurol Neurosci
Date Published2016
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Biofeedback, Psychology, Female, Gait Disorders, Neurologic, Humans, Imagery (Psychotherapy), Male, Middle Aged, Neuralgia, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Spinal Cord Injuries, User-Computer Interface, Walking

PURPOSE: Motor imagery can improve motor function and reduce pain. This is relevant to individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) in whom motor dysfunction and neuropathic pain are prevalent. However, therapy efficacy could be dependent on motor imagery ability, and a clear understanding of how motor imagery might be facilitated is currently lacking. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess the immediate effects of interactive virtual feedback on motor imagery performance after SCI.METHODS: Nine individuals with a traumatic SCI participated in the experiment. Motor imagery tasks consisted of forward (i.e. simpler) and backward (i.e. more complex) walking while receiving interactive versus static virtual feedback. Motor imagery performance (vividness, effort and speed), neuropathic pain intensity and feasibility (immersion, distraction, side-effects) were assessed.RESULTS: During interactive feedback trials, motor imagery vividness and speed were significantly higher and effort was significantly lower as compared static feedback trials. No change in neuropathic pain was observed. Adverse effects were minor, and immersion was reported to be good.CONCLUSIONS: This exploratory study showed that interactive virtual walking was feasible and facilitated motor imagery performance. The response to motor imagery interventions after SCI might be improved by using interactive virtual feedback.

Alternate JournalRestor. Neurol. Neurosci.
PubMed ID26890097
PubMed Central IDPMC4927914
Grant ListRMF-111622 / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada