BACKGROUND: During gait training in persons with central nervous system (CNS) movement disorders, virtual reality (VR) can offer added value by providing task-specific gait training in more interactive and motivating environments. OBJECTIVE: To summarize current evidence for the effectiveness of VR-enhanced gait training in persons with CNS movement disorders. METHODS: PubMed, Web of Science and CENTRAL were systematically searched for studies using VR during walking to improve gait outcomes (spatiotemporal, functional, kinematic and kinetic). Meta-analyses were performed to estimate pooled effects. RESULTS: Eighteen studies with in total 337 patients were included (12 studies with people post-stroke, 4 with multiple sclerosis, 1 with Parkinson's disease, 1 with traumatic brain injury). Spatiotemporal and functional parameters significantly improved in each population after the VR training. Compared to gait training without VR, differences in favor of VR were found for spatiotemporal and functional parameters only in people post-stroke. CONCLUSION: VR-enhanced gait training is an effective method to improve spatiotemporal and functional parameters in persons with CNS movement disorders. Current evidence supports that, in comparison to training without VR, for people post-stroke VR-enhanced gait training is more effective to improve gait function. Future research regarding other outcome measures and other CNS movement disorders is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-66
Number of pages24
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2019

    Research areas

  • Virtual reality, central nervous system movement disorder, gait

ID: 40156803