Effects of Virtual Reality-Based Therapy on Quality of Life of Patients with Subacute Stroke: A Three-Month Follow-Up Randomized Controlled Trial
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Objective: To evaluate the influence of conventional rehabilitation combined with virtual reality on improving quality of life related to post-stroke health. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Rehabilitation and neurology departments of a general hospital (Talavera de la Reina, Spain). Subjects: A total of 43 participants with subacute stroke. Intervention: Participants were randomized into experimental group (conventional treatment + virtual reality) and control (conventional
... nt). Main measures: Health-related quality of life as measured by the EuroQoL-5 dimensions instrument (EQ-5D-5L) and EuroQoL visual analog scale (EQ-VAS). Results: A total of 23 patients in the experimental group (62.6 ± 13.5 years) and 20 in the control (63.6 ± 12.2 years) completed the study. In the experimental group, EQ-VAS score was 29.1 ± 12.8 at baseline, 86.5 ± 7.1 post-intervention, and 78.3 ± 10.3 at the three-month follow-up. The control group obtained scores of 25.5 ± 5.1, 57.0 ± 4.7, and 58.5 ± 5.9, respectively. We identified significant differences at the post-intervention and follow-up timepoints (p = 0.000) and a partial η2 of 0.647. In EQ-5D-5L, the severity of issues decreased after intervention in the experimental group, while pain and anxiety dimensions increased between post-intervention and follow-up. Conclusion: The conventional rehabilitative approach combined with virtual reality appears to be more effective for improving the perceived health-related quality of life in stroke survivors.