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PHYSICALLY ACTIVE VIRTUAL REALITY AND PARKINSON’S DISEASE: A PILOT STUDY

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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abstract
Parkinson’s Disease is best managed by medication in combination with regular neurorehabilitation and physiotherapy. Certain physically active virtual reality experiences can offer therapeutic benefits to the Parkinson’s Disease population in particular. Specifically, the rhythm-based game Beat Saber offers a novel form of physical activity that largely aligns with the principles of Neurological Music Therapy and, to some extent, Dance Therapy. The benefits of these approaches, which are already known to be effective in mitigating symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, are likely to yield similar or improved therapeutic outcomes due to the interactive, multisensory and immersive characteristics of virtual reality technology. Because there is little to no research on physically active virtual reality and the Parkinson’s Disease population, this pilot study aimed to explore the feasibility, acceptability and usability of using Beat Saber as a supplemental therapeutic activity. Change in high game scores, arm swing magnitude and game enjoyment between Study Visit 1 and Study Visit 4 were assessed quantitatively and qualitatively. No adverse side effects were reported during or after gameplay. On average, participants improved their game scores and arm swing magnitude, indicating that individuals with Parkinson’s Disease can improve their game performance and temporarily mitigate their symptoms. Game enjoyment also improved between Study Visit 1 and Study Visit 4, suggesting that the experience can be highly enjoyable for this population, especially after multiple exposures. Suggestions for future research and game design are outlined and discussed.
subject
Beat Saber
Neurological Music Therapy
Oculus Quest
Parkinson’s Disease
physical activity
virtual reality
contributor
RUHF, KAITLYN (author)
Krcmar, Marina (committee chair)
Fanning, Jason (committee member)
date
2020-05-29T08:36:01Z (accessioned)
2020-05-29T08:36:01Z (available)
2020 (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/96826 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
PHYSICALLY ACTIVE VIRTUAL REALITY AND PARKINSON’S DISEASE: A PILOT STUDY
type
Thesis

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