Journal of Cybertherapy and Rehabilitation

Volume 3 - Issue 3 - Fall 2010



Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (3), 255-260

Learning ecology issues of the mediterranean sea in a Virtual aquatic World -pilot study
M. Wrzesien, D. Pérez López, and M. Alcañiz Raya

The aim of this study is to present a pilot evaluation of the E-Junior application. E-Junior is a Serious
Virtual World (SVW) for teaching children natural science and ecology. The application was designed
according to pedagogical theories and curricular objectives in order to help children learn about the
Mediterranean Sea and its ecological issues while playing. A pilot evaluation on a sample of 24 children
showed that students thoroughly enjoyed the virtual learning session, were engaged with, and had fun
interacting with the system. Moreover, some suggestions for improvement were given by the participants. The results and their implications are discussed.

Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (3), 261-274

Cognitive behavioral Therapy for problematic Video game players: Conceptual considerations and practice issues
D. King, P. Delfabbro & M. Griffiths

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is rationalized to be a highly appropriate treatment modality for
problem and addicted users of video games. Drawing on available empirical research in this and allied
areas (e.g., problem gambling), this paper presents some preliminary treatment techniques that may
be well suited to the known features, correlates, and consequences of video game addiction. These
techniques involve monitoring video game use, setting appropriate goals, and overcoming problem
cognitions that intensify and maintain video game use. Specialized knowledge of the structural and
situational characteristics that develop and maintain problem video game playing is also provided.
While problem video game playing appears to resemble pathological gambling in many ways, some
distinct phenomenological aspects of video game playing prevent a direct translation of gambling CBT
programs to video game players. It is suggested that further research is needed to provide further guidelines and treatment techniques for video game players who suffer problems with their behavior. There is also need for greater funding for more basic and applied research on problem video game players.

Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (3), 275-283

Transfer of spatial-knowledge from Virtual to real environment: effect of active/passive learning depending on a Test-retest procedure and the type of retrieval tests
Rodrigues, Sauzéon, Wallet & N'Kaoua

The aim of this study was to compare subjects’ spatial performance on a pedestrian route depending on three factors: (1) the type of learning environment (real vs. virtual); (2) the exploration mode during the learning phase (active vs. passive); and (3) the type of spatial test administered at retrieval (i.e., wayfinding, sketch mapping, and picture ordering). Moreover, each subject was tested two times: 48hr and 7 days after the learning phase. First of all, regarding the whole data, the results presented in this paper indicate good spatial-knowledge transfer from Virtual Reality to the real world, irrespective to the retrieval tests administered to the subjects. Moreover, the exploration mode does not seem here to significantly influence the spatial performance. In contrast, the subjects’ performance was greatly increased on the 7-day compared to the 48hr recall phase, and particularly, on the wayfinding test (i.e., on the most ecological test). In conclusion, the most influent factor on spatial-knowledge transfer from virtual to real environments seems not to be the active learning of the information, but the testing procedure. The results are discussed using the notions of training effect and transfer-appropriate processing. Although further investigations are needed, the results are already encouraging the development of virtual training or rehabilitation programs addressed to spatial cognitive processes.

Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (3), 285-298

A serious game for total knee arthroplasty procedure, education and training
B. Cowan, H. Sabri, B. Kapralos, M. Porte, D. Backstein, S. Cristancho & A. Dubrowski

Traditionally, orthopaedic surgery training has primarily taken place in the operating room. Given the
growing trend of decreasing resident work hours in North America and globally, due to political mandate, training time in the operating room has generally been decreased. This has led to less operative exposure, teaching, and feedback of orthopaedic surgery residents. We present a 3-D serious game that was designed using an “iterative test-and-design” method, for the purpose of training orthopaedic surgery residents the series of steps comprising the total knee arthroplasty (replacement) procedure, using a problem-based learning approach. Before implementing the serious game into teaching curricula, the first step, and the purpose of the current instigation, was to conduct a usability study to address user perceptions of the game’s ease of use, and the potential for learning and engagement. Real-time, 3-D graphical and sound rendering technologies are employed to provide sensory realism consistent with the real world. This will ensure that the knowledge gained within the serious game can be more easily recalled and applied when the trainee is placed in the real world scenario. Usability test results indicate that the serious game is easy to use, intuitive, and stimulating.

Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (3), 299-306

Comparing expert and novice spatial representation on the basis of VR simulation, MRI images, and physical objects
A. Stadie, I. Degenhardt, G. Conesa, R. Reisch, R. Kockro, G. Fischer & H. Hecht

Progress in medical imaging and refined methods of surgery planning, such as Virtual Reality (VR),
call for an investigation of the acquisition of three-dimensional (3-D) anatomical knowledge as a crucial goal of medical education. This study compared the efficacy to reconstruct a 3-D arrangement of objects that was either presented as a real model, as magnetic resonance images (MRI), or as a VR model. From April 2005 to June 2006 two groups, experienced neurosurgeons and medical students in their fourth year of medical education, studied a three-dimensional arrangement of water-filled plastic objects either as a real model, using a VR workstation, or by examining the MRI images. They were then asked to reconstruct the model as accurately as possible. The reconstructed models were then compared to the respective original models. The most accurate reconstructions were achieved when the participants had memorized the real model. VR visualization produced larger errors, and reconstruction accuracy based on MRI scans was worst. Neurosurgeons did not perform better than students. Our results show that, compared to standard MRI scans, the accuracy of mental representation does benefit from the stereoscopic rendering of the model, which has been built from sequential MRI scans. However, best results were achieved when learning from the original model. Thus, VR is beneficial and at the same time there is room for further improvement when trying to optimize the visual basis for anatomy training and surgery planning, both for expert as well as for novice surgeons.

Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (3), 307-311

Open surgery while wearing night vision goggles
J. Mosso, M. Stetz, R. González Ojeda, B. Wiederhold, G. Arrellin Rosas, E. Rodriguez, Schlögl, G. Obrador Vera, & D. Mosso Lara

Night vision technology is nothing new. In fact, the military rely significantly on this technology during
nighttime operations. A surgeon is like a medical soldier in the battlefield. His/her only mission is that
of keeping people alive. Due to many technological advances, patients cannot only train on relaxation
while visiting their doctors but also get distracted by playing videogames while waiting for them. Furthermore, this virtual reality experience can be enhanced if the patient wears goggles or Head Mounted Displays under dimmed or absence of lights. The purpose of this study was to test if a surgeon could operate when extending into such a dark condition situation, but in the surgical suite. Therefore, a surgeon performed seven open surgeries on rabbits. All surgeries were performed on the thorax and abdomen regions. Specifically, the surgeon was able to perform these surgeries by wearing on his head a micro camera with infrared light and a night vision goggles. The first assistant used this same system while the scrub nurse and the anesthesiologist did not. There were no complications either during or after these procedures. It is possible to make open surgeries wearing a night vision system. Further approaches should be tested with human volunteers.

Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 2010, 3 (3), 313-324

Management of chronic pain for older persons: a multisensory stimulation approach
M. Tse & S. Ho

Since the prevalence of chronic pain among the elderly is high and reduces their quality of life, effective
non-pharmacological pain management should be promoted. The purpose of this quasi-experimental
pretest and posttest control design was to enhance pain management via an 8-week multisensory stimulation art and craft appreciation program (MSSAC). Residents from two nursing homes were randomized into an experimental group with MSSAC and a control group with regular care but without
MSSAC. Relevant data were collected from both groups before and after the MSSAC. The MSSAC
consisted of an 8-week program, with one session per week consisting of an art and craft activity and
practicing multisensory stimulation therapy. There were 59 and 82 older people in the experimental and control group respectively. No significant differences were found in their demographic characteristics, pain parameters, number of non-pharmacological strategies for pain relief, effectiveness scores on the non-pharmacological therapies, and psychological wellbeing at the baseline. Upon completion of the MSSAC, there was a significant decrease in pain scores and in the use of non-drug methods to control pain. Also, a significant improvement was observed in all psychological parameters in the experimental group, but not for the control group. The MSSAC proved to be effective in reducing pain, enhancing psychological wellbeing, and increasing the use of non-pharmacological therapies for the elderly.