Virtual Reality and Active Videogame-Based Practice, Learning Needs, and Preferences: A Cross-Canada Survey of Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: Describe the clinical use of virtual reality (VR)/active videogaming (AVG) by physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) in Canada, identify usage barriers and facilitators, evaluate factors that predict intention to use VR/AVGs, and determine therapists' learning needs. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Online survey of therapists in Canada who were members of 1 of 26 professional PT or OT colleges or associations using the Assessing Determinants Of Prospective Take-up of Virtual Reality (ADOPT-VR2) Instrument. RESULTS: We received 1071 (506 PTs, 562 OTs, 3 dual-trained) responses. Forty-six percent had clinical VR/AVG experience; only 12% reported current use, with the Wii being the most clinically accessible (41%) system. Therapists used VR/AVGs primarily in rehabilitation (32%) and hospital (29%) settings, preferentially targeting balance (39.3%) and physical activity (19.8%) outcomes. Stroke (25.8%), brain injury (15.3%), musculoskeletal (14.9%), and cerebral palsy (10.5%) populations were most frequently treated. Therapists with VR/AVG experience rated all ADOPT-VR2 constructs more highly than did those without experience (P < 0.001). Factors predictive of intention to use VR included the technology's perceived usefulness and therapist self-efficacy in VR/AVG use (P < 0.001). Highest-rated barriers to VR/AVG use were lack of funds, space, time, support staff, and appropriate clients, whereas facilitators included client motivation, therapist knowledge, and management support. Most (76%) respondents were interested in learning more. CONCLUSION: Understanding use, predictors of use, and learning needs is essential for developing knowledge translation initiatives to support clinical integration of VR/AVGs. Results of this first national survey will inform the creation of resources to support therapists in this field.


  • Levac, Danielle
  • Glegg, Stephanie
  • Colquhoun, Heather
  • Miller, Pat
  • Noubary, Farzad

publication date

  • August 2017