Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (3), 183-190
ANALYSIS OF MULTITOUCH TECHNOLOGY FOR NEUROREHABILITATION
M. Alcañiz, V. Abarca, J. Lozano & N. Herrero
The technology for supporting user friendly and intelligent interaction becomes very important for technology applied to rehabilitation. In this paper we review state of the art information and communication technologies (ICT) applied to cognitive and motor rehabilitation in order to discuss the advantages of multitouch technologies over other technologies. We describe a multitouch system specifically developed for use in clinical rehabilitation. The ergonomic analysis and user acceptance results are described.
A multitouch tabletop display system based on Frustrated Total Internal Reflection (FTIR) has been developed using user centered design principles in order to adapt the technology to patients with acquired TBI. We also described the classification of hand gesture commands for interacting with the system developed using the library Human-Touch.
Several software applications have been developed both for usability tests and for cognitive rehabilitation tasks. The different natural man-machine interface technologies are analyzed for their use in neurorrehabilitation and the possibilities of the multi-touch technology are analyzed. The implementation of a prototype specially adapted for its use in neurorrehabilitation is described and the ergonomic analysis and user satisfaction results are described.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (3), 191-198
IMPROVING GAIT AFTER STROKE - TREADMILL OR WALKING; QUALITY OR QUANTITY
B. Langhammer & J. Stanghelle
The main aim of the present study was to evaluate treadmill training versus walking outdoors in order to improve quality aspects like step length, step width, cadence and quantitative aspects like endurance, walking speed and distance in walking. A secondary aim was to evaluate factors that might be influential in retrieving walking capacity.
The results indicate that treadmill walking achieved improved function, such as an increase in walking speed and distance, in less time than walking outdoors and in regard to bilateral step length with higher degree of symmetrical use. This observation supports the notion that walking exercises on a treadmill are an effective and important tool in rehabilitation. The patients studied were well past the acute period of time after stroke. The fact that both treadmill walking and walking outdoors did improve functional activities supports the importance of “booster doses” of rehabilitation in order to maintain physical function levels.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (3), 199-204
PRELIMINARY VALIDATION OF ECOTRAIN-COGNITIVE: A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT TASK FOR SAFE STREET CROSSING IN ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY PATIENTS WITH AND WITHOUT UNILATERAL SPATIAL NEGLECT
M. Navarro, M. Alcañiz, J. Ferri, J. Lozano, N. Herrero & J. Chirivella
The objective of the study was to determine the clinical utility and the convergent validity of a computer desktop based virtual reality (VR) street crossing task. Twenty patients who had sustained either a right (n = 13) or a left (n = 7) hemispheric brain lesion due to an acquired brain injury participated in this study. All subjects were assessed with a neuropsychological battery including measures of attention (Color Trail-making Test, CPT) and measures of unilateral spatial neglect (Behavioral Inattention Test.) A standard VR street crossing test was performed within a week after completion of a neuropsycological assessment.
Variables measured in the VR task included number of times the participant looked to the left, the total time it took to complete the task and the number of accidents. A Feedback Questionnaire was used to obtain information about the subjective responses of the participants to the VR experience.
The results were as follows–four patients in the study showed signs of persistent unilateral spatial neglect (USN =BIT cut-off store < 129.) Two of the four patients with USN and only one of the 16 without USN were unable to complete the task due to four or more accidents (Fisher’s exact test, p = 0.08.) The number of accidents and the time taken to complete the virtual task were significantly correlated to the BIT score (r = -0.5, p < 0.05) and time to complete the Color Trail Making Test part A and B (r = 0.7 and r = 0.8 respectively, p < 0.01.) The participants’ overall feedback on the VR experience was positive. In conclusion, the results achieved by this VR street crossing intervention correlate with those achieved by conventional neuropsychological tests measuring USN and attentional resources. Further studies should address its clinical validity as an effective instrument for training individuals who suffer from USN.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (3), 205-220
INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND AGGRESSION OBSERVED WITHIN A NEUROBEHAVIORAL REHABILITATION SERVICE: SABSA AND OAS-MNR OUTCOMES OVER A THREE-MONTH PERIOD
N. Alderman, C. Knight & L. Birkett-Swan
The St Andrew’s Sexual Behavior Assessment (SASBA) scale has recently been proposed as providing a valid, reliable means of recording inappropriate sexual behavior (ISB) exhibited by people with acquired or progressive neurological impairment. ISB amongst these populations has not previously been studied in detail, consequently, little is known about its prevalence or characteristics. In this study, SASBA data collected over a three-month period in a neurobehavioral service was examined to begin ascertaining the extent of ISB amongst people with acquired brain injury (ABI.) Overall, 699 incidents were recorded among 91 patients–most were verbal comments of a sexual nature. Comparable measures of aggression made over the same period suggested ISB was relatively infrequent, accounting for seven percent of all events.
Aggression was characteristic of most patients, whereas ISB was exhibited by less than half. Two patients accounted for nearly half the SASBA recordings. Data suggested aggression primarily served an escape or avoidance function while ISB was mostly concerned with social distance reduction. Benefits of encouraging services to utilize the SASBA to ascertain prevalence and characteristics of ISB in other ABI contexts and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (3), 221-233
EFFECTS OF VIRTUAL AVATAR CHARACTERISTICS ON PERFORMANCE OF HEALTHY SUBJECTS' TRAINING TASKS
V-H. Nguyen, F. Merienne & J-L. Martinez
In the application of training for virtual rehabilitation, virtual avatars are used to help subjects performing exercises in a virtual environment. Effectively, the representative characteristics of virtual avatars have a strong impact on subjects when performing their exercises. Therefore, the selection of a suitable avatar is important. Our work aims to analyze the effects of virtual avatar representative characteristics on the performance of a training task done by healthy subjects. The system used consisted of a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment, a motion capture system and an avatar rendering library called Cal3D. The developed system also captures the gesture of subjects, renders it by virtual avatars and supports a simple game of “Ball Reaching.” By changing the representative characteristics of virtual avatars, our scenarios enable the experimentation of two approaches. The first analyzes the effects of virtual avatar representative characteristics on the performances of the subject playing the game “Ball Reaching.” The second measures the effect of virtual avatar representative characteristics on the performance of the subject replicating a motion which is represented by a virtual avatar. Based on our proposed real-time weighted Longest Common Sub-Sequence algorithm, the effect measured here is the similarity between represented motion of a virtual avatar and motion replicated by the subject. Our experiment shows that, for doing simple tasks, performance deviation of healthy subjects between the different types of representative avatars isn’t considerable. However, when the tasks are complicated, types of representative avatars have a strong impact on the performance of tasks performed by healthy subjects.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (3), 235-242
ELECTRONIC PDA DIETARY AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY REGISTERS IN A WEIGHT LOSS TREATMENT PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN: A DESCRIPTION OF THE ETIOBE PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT SYSTEM
R. Baños, A. Cebolla, I. Zaragoza, C. Botella & M. Alcañiz
Childhood obesity is a significant health problem in western societies. Self-monitoring techniques, such as the use of dietary and physical activity registers, are considered to be central to cognitive-behavioral weight control programs.
Traditionally, these conventional diaries have been created using pen and paper, however, this technique has several limitations. The objective of this paper is to describe an electronic Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) system for recording food and physical activity for the treatment of childhood obesity. The authors review the benefits and limitations of such electronic diaries.
Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2009, 2 (3), 243-254
DEPRESSION INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET FOR ASIAN AMERICANS
J. Fogel & E. Nehmad
The anonymity of the Internet may provide depression information to Asian Americans who often associate depression with shame and stigma beliefs and avoid treatment. We interviewed 20 Asian Americans regarding reasons for Internet depression information use, non-use, and relevant Web site topics. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative responses.
Reasons for Internet use included difficulty talking face-to-face, confidential, useful information, and convenience. Reasons for non-Internet use included “not a good source” and denial concerning depression. The Internet can allow for depression information tailored to Asian Americans and this study suggests topics of interest to include on such a Web site.