Using a virtual reality game to assess goal-directed hand movements in children: A pilot feasibility study

M. Elboim Gabyzon, B. Engel-Yeger, S. Tresser, S. Springer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Virtual reality gaming environments may be used as a supplement to the motor performance assessment tool box by providing clinicians with quantitative information regarding motor performance in terms of movement accuracy and speed, as well as sensory motor integration under different levels of dual tasking. OBJECTIVE: To examine the feasibility of using the virtual reality game 'Timocco' as an assessment tool for evaluating goal-directed hand movements among typically developing children. METHODS: In this pilot study, 47 typically-developing children were divided into two age groups, 4-6 years old and 6-8 years old. Performance was measured using two different virtual environment games (Bubble Bath and Falling Fruit), each with two levels of difficulty. Discriminative validity (age effect) was examined by comparing the performance of the two groups, and by comparing the performance between levels of the games for each group (level effect). Test-retest reliability was examined by reassessing the older children 3-7 days after the first session. RESULTS: He older children performed significantly better in terms of response time,action time, game duration, and efficiency in both games compared to the younger children. Both age groups demonstrated poorer performance at the higher game level in the Bubble Bath game compared to the lower level. A similar level effect was found in the Falling Fruit game for both age groups in response time and efficiency, but not in action time. The performance of the older children was not significantly different between the two sessions at both game levels. CONCLUSIONS: The discriminative validity and test-retest reliability indicate the feasibility of using the Timocco virtual reality game as a tool for assessing goal-directed hand movements in children. Further studies should examine its feasibility for use in children with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalTechnology and Health Care
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Timocco
  • Virtual reality
  • assessment
  • children
  • feasibility
  • goal-directed hand movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Information Systems
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics

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