Realidade virtual na reabilitação: por que sim e por que não? uma revisão sistemática

Translated title of the contribution: Virtual reality and rehabilitation: why or why not? A systematic literature review

Artemisa R. Dores, Fernando Barbosa, António Marques, Irene P. Carvalho, Liliana de Sousa, Alexandre Castro-Caldas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Regardless of the health domain involved, the process of rehabilitation remains a challenge for professionals, patients and their families. In an attempt to overcome the limitations of traditional interventions, the technology of Virtual Reality (VR) has been increasingly applied to rehabilitation and begins to provide important tools which, however, generate debate and divergent positions. In order to examine VR's contributions to the field of rehabilitation in terms of its advantages and limitations, this study presents a systematic review of scientific literature in this area and provides a hierarchical model describing and systematizing the nature of the studies reviewed and their main subjects. The literature review focused on scientific papers indexed, until November 2010, in the ISI Web of Knowledge databases. Two independent researchers analyzed the included papers in NVivo 9 and the developed model was applied to the recoding of the material. A total of 963 articles were identified, of which 288 titles and abstracts were reviewed, after application of the exclusion criteria. The model indicates, as central categories in the literature: Type of Article (Empirical, Theoretical); Project Background; Type of Approach (Assistive Technology; Augmented Reality; Traditional Approaches; Virtual Reality). This last category (VR) was exhaustively decomposed so that its applicability, effects and future trends could be documented. Results suggest that VR's advantages include: its possible application to a variety of fields, cognitive functions, behaviors, neurological disorders and physical disabilities; its characteristics and respective consequences; and its potential to overcome limitations of traditional interventions. On the side of the limitations, papers address: VR's side effects, causes for the limitations, and suggested precautions. The results show promising trends in the use of VR technology in the field of rehabilitation, with implications for its future implementation. Results further indicate the need for continuing research that evaluates VR's applicability to rehabilitation in general and (neuro)cognitive rehabilitation in particular.
Translated title of the contributionVirtual reality and rehabilitation: why or why not? A systematic literature review
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)414-421
Number of pages8
JournalActa Medica Portuguesa
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


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