Studies that used any form of virtual reality as a rehabilitation intervention for patients with stroke were eligible for inclusion. Studies of patients with a variety of stroke foci and symptomatology were included in the review. The included studies used a wide range of virtual reality interventions which focused on skills such as memory, spatial awareness, motor control and balance. The majority of studies used a desktop personal computer to deliver the intervention, but head-mounted displays, glasses and alternative monitors were also used, as were a variety of user interfaces. Where reported, the number of virtual reality sessions ranged from 1 to 20, and lasted between 13 and 150 minutes. Studies were required to report levels of impairment or activity levels as outcomes. The outcomes reported were predominantly related to motor function; other outcomes included range and speed of movement of upper limb or gait, and measures of strength. The outcomes were mostly assessed using computer-based measures and kinematic data derived from motion tracking devices. Inclusion criteria were not stated for the study design; the included studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials (CCTs), uncontrolled trials and case reports.
The authors stated that studies were selected for the review by screening abstracts, with full papers assessed where necessary, but did not state how many reviewers performed the selection.