The use of immersive virtual reality for cancer-related cognitive impairment assessment and rehabilitation: A clinical feasibility study

Yingchun Zeng, Linghui Zeng, Andy S.K. Cheng (Corresponding Author), Xijun Wei, Boran Wang, Jingchi Jiang, Jin Zhou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This brief study aimed to examine the potential effects of virtual reality (VR)-assisted cognitive rehabilitation intervention on the health outcomes of patients with cancer. Methods: A single group of pre-test and post-test study designs were used. An innovative VR system was developed to assess cancer-related cognitive impairment and provide cognitive rehabilitation. The potential effects of the system were determined by measuring changes in cognitive function (learning and memory, information processing speed, executive function, and verbal fluency) and the severity of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Results: Nine subjects completed the entire VR intervention and were included in the analysis. The participants’ mean age was 43.3 years (standard deviation, 8.9 years). The VR-based cognitive intervention significantly improved the subjective cognitive measures of perceived cognitive impairment and perceived cognitive ability (P ​= ​0.01 and P ​< ​0.01, respectively). The intervention also improved the objective cognitive measures of verbal learning memory as measured using the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (eg., P ​< ​0.01 for 5-min delay recall), information processing speed as measured using the trail-making test-A (P ​= ​0.02) and executive function as measured using the trail-making test-B (P ​= ​0.03). Only the subtest of delayed recall showed no statistically significant difference after the intervention (P ​= ​0.69). The VR-based psychological intervention significantly reduced the severity of sleep disorders (P ​< ​0.01). Conclusions: The use of immersive VR was shown to have potential effects on improving cognitive function for patients with cancer. Future studies will require a larger sample size to examine the effects of immersive VR-assisted cognitive rehabilitation on the health outcomes of patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100079
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Chinese cancer patients
  • Cognitive assessment
  • Immersive VR
  • Rehabilitation intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)

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