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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Sep 2023 - 15 Sep 2023

Psychology, Review

Human Studies, In Silico Studies, Medical Devices, Neurobiology

Musculoskeletal Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Aug 28

Healthcare (Basel)




Virtual Reality-Based Exercise Therapy for Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Scoping Review.


Bilika P, Karampatsou N, Stavrakakis G, Paliouras A, Theodorakis Y, Strimpakos N, Kapreli E


This scoping review aimed to identify interventions utilizing virtual-reality-based exercise therapy in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Searches were conducted in four databases using descriptors related to virtual reality, exercise, and chronic musculoskeletal pain. Two reviewers screened the titles and abstracts of the studies to assess eligibility, with a third author resolving any discrepancies. Data were extracted and summarized in a narrative format by three independent raters. Clinical trials were evaluated using the PEDro scale to assess the effectiveness of virtual-reality-based exercise therapy in chronic musculoskeletal pain patients. A total of 162 articles were identified from the databases. After applying the inclusion criteria, nine articles were considered suitable for analysis, including six randomized clinical trials. The selected articles were categorized based on study characteristics, virtual-reality-based exercise therapy interventions (including technologies and equipment used), exercise interventions, outcome measures, and effectiveness. The findings indicate that virtual-reality-based exercise therapy shows promising results in reducing pain, improving disability, enhancing range of motion, and increasing treatment satisfaction in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. However, it is not possible to conclude that virtual-reality-based exercise therapy is superior to other treatments due to the limited number of available studies, heterogeneity in application protocols, and varying methodological quality. Further research is needed to draw more definitive conclusions.