TheraGame: A home based virtual reality rehabilitation system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The limitations of existing virtual reality (VR) systems in terms of their use for home-based VR therapy led us to develop TheraGame, a novel video capture VR system. TheraGame operates on a standard PC with a simple webcam. The software is programmed using a Java-based visual interaction system This system enables a quick and easy definition of virtual objects and their behavior. The user sits in front of the monitor, sees himself, and uses his movements to interact with the virtual objects. Objective: To present the system, a number of several current TheraGame applications and some initial pilot usage results. Methods: Twelve healthy elderly subjects, ranging in age from 65 to 78 years, were tested. A second group included four participants, aged 65 to 76 years, who experienced TheraGame for one session; three were post stroke and one had a spinal stenosis. All of the participants had a weak upper extremity. In addition, one participant, a 53-year-old man who had a stroke 2 years before the study, used a system that was installed on his own computer at home for a period of 2.5 weeks. Data on subjects' performance, user feedback, and perceived exertion were collected. Results-. All healthy elderly subjects demonstrated moderate-to-high levels of enjoyment and usability. These scores were also high as reported by the four participants with neurological deficits. Some limitations in system functionality were reported by the person with a stroke who used TheraGame at home for a period of 2.5 weeks. Conclusions: TheraGame appears to have considerable potential for home-based rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


  • Home-based rehabilitation
  • neurological rehabilitation
  • video capture
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Sensory Systems
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Speech and Hearing


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