Upper-limb virtual rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury: A preliminary within-group evaluation of the elements system

N. Mumford, J. Duckworth, P.R. Thomas, Ho Keung David Shum, G. Williams, P.H. Wilson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of the Elements virtual reality (VR) system for rehabilitation of upper-limb function in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods: Using a within-group design, patients were tested three times, each 4 weeks apart: Pre-intervention 1 and 2 and Post-intervention. During intervention, participants received 12 1-hour training sessions over 4 weeks in addition to their usual care. Five males and four females aged 1848 years with severe TBI were recruited. The Elements system consisted of a 100-cm tabletop LCD, camera tracking system, tangible user interfaces (i.e. graspable objects of basic shape) and software. The system provided two modes of interaction with augmented feedback: goal-directed and exploratory. Upper-limb performance was assessed using system-rated measures (movement speed, accuracy and efficiency) and standardized tests. Results: Planned comparisons revealed little change in performance over the pre-test period apart from an increase in movement speed. There were significant training effects, with large effect sizes on all measures except the nuts-and-bolts task. Conclusions: These preliminary findings support the results of an early case study of the Elements system, further demonstrating that VR training is a viable adjunct to conventional physical therapy in facilitating motor learning in patients with TBI. © 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-176
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Augmented feedback
  • Elements
  • Motor control
  • Motor learning
  • Movement rehabilitation
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Upper-limb
  • Virtual reality
  • Virtual rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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