Feasibility and usability of a virtual-reality-based sensorimotor activation apparatus for carpal tunnel syndrome patients

Lakshminarayanan, Kishor, Shah, Rakshit, Daulat, Sohail R., Moodley, Viashen, Yao, Yifei, Ezhil, Srignana Lokesh, Ramu, Vadivelan, Sengupta, Puja and Madathil, Deepa (2023) Feasibility and usability of a virtual-reality-based sensorimotor activation apparatus for carpal tunnel syndrome patients. Plos One, 18 (10): e0292494. pp. 1-12. ISSN 1932-6203

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This study aimed to assess the usability of a virtual reality-assisted sensorimotor activation (VRSMA) apparatus for individual digit rehabilitation. The study had two main objectives: Firstly, to collect preliminary data on the expectations and preferences of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) regarding virtual reality (VR) and an apparatus-assisted therapy for their affected digits. Secondly, to evaluate the usability of the VRSMA apparatus that was developed.

The VRSMA system consists of an apparatus that provides sensory and motor stimulation via a vibratory motor and pressure sensor attached to a button, and a virtual reality-based visual cue provided by texts overlaid on top of a 3D model of a hand. The study involved 10 CTS patients who completed five blocks of VRSMA with their affected hand, with each block corresponding to the five digits. The patients were asked to complete a user expectations questionnaire before experiencing the VRSMA, and a user evaluation questionnaire after completing the VRSMA. Expectations for VRSMA were obtained from the questionnaire results using a House of Quality (HoQ) analysis.

In the survey for expectations, participants rated certain attributes as important for a rehabilitation device for CTS, with mean ratings above 4 for attributes such as ease of use, ease of understanding, motivation, and improvement of hand function based on clinical evidence. The level of immersion and an interesting rehabilitation regime received lower ratings, with mean ratings above 3.5. The survey evaluating VRSMA showed that the current prototype was overall satisfactory with a mean rating of 3.9 out of 5. Based on the HoQ matrix, the highest priority for development of the VRSMA was to enhance device comfort and usage time. This was followed by the need to perform more clinical studies to provide evidence of the efficacy of the VRSMA. Other technical characteristics, such as VRSMA content and device reliability, had lower priority scores.

The current study presents a potential for an individual digit sensorimotor rehabilitation device that is well-liked by CTS patients.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Sensory Perception | Tactile Sensation | Virtual Reality | Prototypes
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2023 08:20
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2023 08:20
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0292494
Funders: This research was supported by the Department of Science and Technology, India (Grant number SRG/2021/000283) awarded to KL. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/6746


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