PI(s): Jeff Cuthbert, PhD, MPH, MS; Don Gerber, PsyD; Denise O'Dell, DScPT; and Candy Tefertiller, DPT
Funded by: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
Contact: Jeff Cuthbert firstname.lastname@example.org 303 789 8028
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of a home-based PT program which aims to enhance balance following TBI by incorporating the use of a VR system. Balance deficits have been shown to persist long-term in people with TBI and subsequently limit community participation and decrease quality of life. There is limited evidence for the treatment of diminished balance for people with TBI, particularly for those with chronic deficits; however, research in populations with neurological deficits similar to TBI has demonstrated that VR can be an effective modality in improving balance. To assess the efficacy of VR treatments in improving balance and mobility skills for people with chronic balance deficits associated with TBI, an individually tailored, structured, reproducible 12-week intervention has been developed. The evidence-based strategies of motor learning designed to facilitate functional recovery that comprise this intervention include the provision of new and challenging movements, repetitive-procedural practice, visual feedback, and use of a structured progressive exercise program. The goals of the intervention are to increase balance and mobility, enhance overall balance system function, reduce fear of falling, improve treatment adherence, and improve participation in life activities for individuals with TBI who have already completed direct PT opportunities.