Background: Virtual reality therapy in neurorehabilitation has demonstrated to be an effective, innovative method in increasing patient outcomes by increasing task repetition, interest, and self-efficacy. Despite this, virtual reality is not commonly used in neurorehabilitation centres or hospitals for conditions such as stroke.
Objectives: The primary aim of this scoping review is to synthesise existing literature exploring the costs associated with including virtual reality into neurorehabilitation. The second aim is to explore the barriers and challenges that impede its adoption in neurorehabilitation.
Methods: A literature search was conducted yielding a total of 5,647 articles. Eight studies were eligible to be included in the review.
Results: Findings indicate that virtual reality may be a cost saving adjunct because it decreases the need for therapist time and decreases transportation costs. In addition, findings suggest that commercial virtual reality devices such as the Nintendo Wii may not be designed optimally for neurorehabilitation and virtual reality may not be suitable for patients with significant cognitive and communication deficits.
Conclusions: Future research should aim to diversify in neurological patient populations, increase the range of economic evaluations, and explore barriers for virtual reality in neurorehabilitation to assist organisations and practitioners in enhancing treatment and ultimately health outcomes.