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Fall-prone older people's attitudes towards the use of virtual reality technology for fall prevention

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lisa AlcockORCiD, Professor Lynn RochesterORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by S. Karger AG, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


BackgroundVirtual reality (VR) technology is a relatively new rehabilitation tool that can deliver a combination of cognitive and motor training for fall prevention. The attitudes of older people to such training are currently unclear.ObjectiveThis study aimed to investigate: 1) the attitudes of fall-prone older people towards fall prevention exercise with and without VR; 2) attitudinal changes post intervention with and without VR; and 3) user satisfaction following fall prevention exercise with and without VR.Methods281 fall-prone older people were randomly assigned to an experimental group receiving treadmill training augmented by VR (TT+VR, n=144) or a control group receiving treadmill training alone (TT, n=137). Two questionnaires were used to measure 1) attitudes towards fall prevention exercise with and without VR (AQ); and 2) user satisfaction (USQ). AQ was evaluated at baseline and post-intervention. USQ was measured post-intervention only.ResultsThe AQ revealed that most participants had positive attitudes towards fall prevention exercise at baseline (82.2%) and post-intervention (80.6%; p=.144). In contrast, only 53.6% was enthusiastic about fall-prevention exercise with VR at baseline. These attitudes positively changed post-intervention (83.1%; p<.001), and 99.2% indicated that they enjoyed TT+VR. Correlation analyses showed that post-intervention attitudes were strongly related to user satisfaction (USQ: r=.503; p<.001).ConclusionsOlder people’s attitudes towards fall prevention exercise with VR were positively influenced by their experience. From the perspective of the user, VR is an attractive training mode and thus improving service provision for older people is important.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dockx K, Alcock L, Bekkers E, Ginis P, Reelick M, Pelosin E, Lagravinese G, Hausdorff JM, Mirelman A, Rochester L, Nieuwboer A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Gerontology

Year: 2017

Volume: 63

Pages: 590-598

Print publication date: 01/10/2017

Online publication date: 18/08/2017

Acceptance date: 30/06/2017

Date deposited: 05/07/2017

ISSN (print): 0304-324X

ISSN (electronic): 1423-0003

Publisher: S. Karger AG


DOI: 10.1159/000479085


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