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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00024

Analysis of different device interactions in a virtual reality task in individuals with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a randomized controlled trial.

 Bruna L. Freitas1,  Talita D. Silva2*, Tânia B. Crocetta3,  Thais Massetti1,  Luciano V. Araújo2, Shelly Coe4,  Helen Dawes4, Fatima A. Caromano1 and Carlos B. Monteiro1
  • 1University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 3Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Brazil
  • 4Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom

There is a need to support individuals with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) to achieve optimal functionality in everyday life and with meaningful tasks and activities, throughout stages of the disease progression. Thus, technological developments have created an exciting opportunity for the use of affordable virtual reality (VR) systems with different kinds of interaction devices, providing an efficient and fun tool for enabling improvement in motor performance. Objective: to compare performance on a virtual task using interfaces with and without physical contact in order to identify functionality by using different devices in individuals with DMD. Methods: 120 male individuals took part on this study: 60 with DMD with a mean age of 16±5 (range 9 to 34 years old) and 60 without DMD in the control group (CG) matched by age. Participants were divided into three groups of 20 individuals each which performed a virtual task in three different interfaces: Kinect®, computer Touch Screen and Leap Motion®, in a cross over design in which all participants used all devices. Motor impairment in the DMD group was measured by using the Motor Function Measurement and Vignos scales. Results: All participants improved performance through practice, regardless of the interface used, although the DMD group had a continuous lower performance compared to the CG. In addition, the DMD group obtained a significant better performance with Leap Motion interface compared to the other interfaces, while the CG presented better performance on Touch Screen interface. Conclusion: Leap Motion provided better performance for individuals with DMD due to enablement of distal muscle function and ease of instrument adjustment using the virtual interface. Therefore, this type of interface should be encouraged for promoting functionality on general tasks using computer systems. Clinical Trial register number: NCT02891434.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), motor learning, Motor abilities, Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy, functionality

Received: 15 Oct 2018; Accepted: 09 Jan 2019.

Edited by:

Stefano Tamburin, University of Verona, Italy

Reviewed by:

Marco Iosa, Fondazione Santa Lucia (IRCCS), Italy
Iris C. Brunner, Aarhus University, Denmark  

Copyright: © 2019 Freitas, Silva, Crocetta, Massetti, Araújo, Coe, Dawes, Caromano and Monteiro. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Talita D. Silva, School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil,