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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 15

Games Health J

Effects of an 8-Week Virtual Reality Training Program on Pain, Fall Risk, and Quality of Life in Elderly Women with Chronic Low Back Pain: Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial.


Low back pain (LBP) and falls are among the major problems experienced by the elderly population. The present study investigated the effectiveness of an 8-week virtual reality training (VRT) program in helping relieve pain, minimize fall risk, and improve quality of life (QoL) in elderly women suffering from chronic LBP (CLBP). Twenty-five elderly women (VRT/intervention group = 13, control group = 12) with CLBP and aged 65 to 75 years were recruited. The VRT involved three 30-minute weekly sessions of exercises that were carried out using the Xbox Kinect headset. Pain intensity, fall risk, and QoL were assessed via the Visual Analog Scale, the Biodex Balance System, and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, respectively. The outcomes of a one-way analysis of covariance indicated that the pain intensity score of the intervention group significantly decreased after participation in the VRT program ( = 0.001). The intervention group also showed reduced fall risk ( = 0.001) and elevated QoL ( = 0.001). The results confirmed that the VRT program can be regarded as a valid therapeutic intervention that helps reduce patients' symptoms and increase the effectiveness of exercises in the elderly by teaching pain-related insight as well as enhancing QoL and reduce fall risk through various movements.