A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of virtual reality as an exercise intervention for individuals with a respiratory condition

Christina Condon, Wing Tung Lam, Chiara Mosley, Suzanne Gough

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Abstract

Background
Respiratory diseases impose an immense health burden worldwide and affect millions of people on a global scale. Reduction of exercise tolerance poses a huge health issue affecting patients with a respiratory condition, which is caused by skeletal muscle dysfunction and weakness and by lung function impairment. Virtual reality systems is an emerging technology that has drawn scientists’ attention to its potential benefit for rehabilitation.
Methods
A systematic review and meta-analysis following the PRISMA guidelines, was performed to explore the effectiveness of virtual reality gaming and exergaming-based interventions on individuals with respiratory conditions.
Results
Differences between the virtual reality intervention and traditional exercise rehabilitation revealed weak to insignificant effect size for mean heart rate(standardized mean difference, SMD= 0.17; p = 0.002), peak heart rate(SMD=0.36; p =0.27), dyspnoea(SMD=0.32; p =0.13) and oxygen saturation SpO2 (SMD=0.26; p = 0.096). In addition, other measures were collected, however, to the heterogeneity of reporting, could not be included in the meta-analysis. These included adherences, enjoyment and drop-out rates.
Conclusions
The use of VRS as an intervention can provide options for rehabilitation, given their moderate effect for dyspnoea and equivalent to weak effect for mean and maximum peak HR and SpO2 . However, the use of virtual reality systems, as an intervention, needs further study since the literature lacks standardized methods to accurately analyse effects of virtual reality for individuals with respiratory conditions, especially for duration, virtual reality system type, adherence, adverse effects, feasibility, enjoyment and quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Simulation
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2020

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