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Scientific Articles

Achievement of Virtual and Real Objects Using a Short-Term Motor Learning Protocol in People with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: A Crossover Randomized Controlled Trial

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source: Games for Health Journal

year: 2018

authors: Massetti T, Fávero FM, Menezes LDC, Alvarez MPB, Crocetta TB, Guarnieri R, Nunes FLS, Monteiro CBM, Silva TDD


To evaluate whether people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) practicing a task in a virtual environment could improve performance given a similar task in a real environment, as well as distinguishing whether there is transference between performing the practice in virtual environment and then a real environment and vice versa.

Twenty-two people with DMD were evaluated and divided into two groups. The goal was to reach out and touch a red cube. Group A began with the real task and had to touch a real object, and Group B began with the virtual task and had to reach a virtual object using the Kinect system.

ANOVA showed that all participants decreased the movement time from the first (M = 973 ms) to the last block of acquisition (M = 783 ms) in both virtual and real tasks and motor learning could be inferred by the short-term retention and transfer task (with increasing distance of the target). However, the evaluation of task performance demonstrated that the virtual task provided an inferior performance when compared to the real task in all phases of the study, and there was no effect for sequence.

Both virtual and real tasks promoted improvement of performance in the acquisition phase, short-term retention, and transfer. However, there was no transference of learning between environments. In conclusion, it is recommended that the use of virtual environments for individuals with DMD needs to be considered carefully.

organization: University of São Paulo, Brazil; Federal University of São Paulo, UNIFESP, Brazil; Faculty of Medicine, ABC, Brazil

DOI: 10.1089/g4h.2016.0088

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