The Pulse

Improving Strength and Functional Mobility Using Virtual Reality and Exercise

Posted by ACP on Jan 24, 2020 1:15:49 PM

Patient Information: Male, Age 72

Diagnosis: Muscle Weakness / General Debility

History: This gentleman had a fall and was hospitalized due to a femur fracture. He experienced multiple medical complications and surgeries and was admitted to a skilled nursing facility. He was transferred to this skilled nursing facility for long-term care two and half months after his fall and was referred to therapy due to weakness, balance deficits, inability to walk and inability to perform self-care. Prior to his fall he lived at home and was independent with all mobility and activities of daily living (ADLs).

Pre-Therapy Status:

  • Leg Strength: Poor plus (2+/5) for the right leg and fair minus (3-/5) for the left leg.
  • Transfers: Dependent (100% assistance).
  • ADLs: Dependent (100% assistance) with bathing, grooming, and dressing. Modified Barthel Index (measure for physical disability) scored 3/20 reflecting severe disability.
  • Ambulation: Unable to walk. Elder Mobility Score was 1/20; dependent for all mobility tasks and a high fall risk.

Therapy Information:

  • Modality: OmniVR® Virtual Rehabilitation System.
  • Frequency: 3x per week.
  • Protocol Specifics: Virtual reality exercise performed during physical and occupational therapy using Fox, Bingo, Eggs, and Carnival activities to improve strength, transfers, and static/dynamic balance.
  • Duration: 8 weeks.
  • Other Therapy Services Provided: Strengthening exercise, transfer training, balance exercise, gait training, and therapeutic activity.


  • Leg Strength: Fair plus (3+/5) for the right leg and good minus (4-/5) for the left leg.
  • Transfers: Independent.
  • ADLs: Occasional supervision, set-up assistance, and increased time for bathing, grooming, and dressing. Modified Barthel Index score greatly improved to 15/20 indicating improved level of function.
  • Ambulation: 75 feet with a rolling walker. Elder Mobility Score greatly improved to 14/20 which correlates with modified independence in all functional tasks and decreased fall risk.

This gentleman, his family, and therapists are so pleased with his progress in therapy! He was initially expected to remain at the facility as a long-term resident, but now has been able to return home with his daughter! The therapists feel the activities performed with the OmniVR® Virtual Rehabilitation System helped him to work harder without realizing it, and this contributed to his successful outcomes. He stated, “I like that this is something different to do in therapy and not the same old stuff.”

Topics: Fall Prevention & Balance, Patient Success Story