Case example: Aphasia VR rehabilitation

Learn about the VR solutions offered by Peili Vision and the results of intensive aphasia rehabilitation at home.

VR rehabilitation to assist in aphasia rehabilitation

In the spring of 2019, Peili Vision conducted a pilot study on the use of VR rehabilitation for aphasia rehabilitation at home.

In the video, you can learn about the encouraging experiences of Anna-Liisa and her family. Anna-Liisa is being rehabilitated from cerebrovascular disorder, during a three-month intensive  rehabilitation with Peili Vision’s aphasia exercises.

Rehabilitee’s background

The rehabilitee Anna-Liisa, of the pilot study, is a 55-year-old resident of Kiuruvesi, who has  chronic broca aphasia, a condition resulting from suffering from cerebrovascular disorder, in 2011. The production and naming of speech, particularly, are problematic for Anna-Liisa.

Anna-Liisa has a husband, two children and two dogs. The husband is always supporting her in everyday communication. She is sociable and motivated to learn.

She has received three episodes of speech therapy between 2011 and 2013, but there have been no resources to arrange rehabilitation since then. Her linguistic-cognitive baseline assessment was carried out using BNT and WAB tests before the rehabilitation period in January of 2019.

Research

The home rehabilitation started on 03 February 2019 and ended on 03 May 2019. Individual exercises were the only form of speech therapy that Anna-Liisa received during the study period.

The pilot study, which lasted three months, carried out VR rehabilitation remotely, and the training took place with her family using a VR headset and tablet. As she progressed, the speech therapist modified the exercises remotely.

Emeritus Professor Matti Lehtihalmes from the University of Oulu directed a naming research project, of which this home rehabilitation was a pilot. The exercises were designed in a new way, in accordance with the Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA) method, for a limited vocabulary that was practiced in the right contexts.

The rehabilitee’s neural network was extensively activated in different ways, and changes to levels of difficulty were made remotely. The vocabulary of the exercises was limited or expanded, according to the progress of the rehabilitee.

Amount of rehabilitation

There was a vast amount of useful data created during the rehabilitation period, and the number of repetitions was high. During the three-month rehabilitation period, the rehabilitee completed a total of 561 exercises. The total amount of exercise time was nearly 39 hours during the rehabilitation period, i.e. three hours per week.

The speech therapist used about 30 minutes per week to monitor the development of the rehabilitee and check the exercises. With Peili Vision’s ready-made training packages, it is possible to halve the working hours spent by a therapist down to 15 minutes, saving even more resources.

The rehabilitee

  • After 3 months
  • 561 exercises completed
  • 3 hours of exercises per week

The therapist

  • 30 minutes of work per week
  • 6 x resources
  • 12 x resources when training programs are ready

Results

The rehabilitee’s initial linguistic-cognitive assessment was carried out by BNT and WAB tests in January of 2019, and the tests were repeated after a three-month rehabilitation period, in May of 2019. According to the tests, the rehabilitation results were excellent, and the rehabilitee’s progress was rapid throughout the rehabilitation period.

Rehabilitation results based on BNT and WAB tests

  • Comprehension +29% (WAB)
  • Repetition +25% (WAB)
  • Naming +142% (WAB)
  • Reading +88% (WAB)
  • Correct answers +30% (BNT)

The rehabilitee showed significant improvement in naming, which continued until sentence forming. The results of the tests showed that the first exercises carried out during the day were more difficult than those that followed.

An example of accelerated naming

  • In the exercise, the rehabilitee had to name five different food products as quickly as possible.
  • At a time, 30 words presented in random order were to be named.
  • At the beginning, the task took 357 seconds, or 11.9 seconds per word.
  • The record while the exercise progressed was 86 seconds, or 2.9 seconds per word.
  • Naming accelerated by 76%.

What did we learn from the study?

The most important lesson of the pilot study was that VR technology is ready for rehabilitation at home. The motivational exercise volumes it enables can be enormous on an individual level, and the amount of exercise can be increased even further. As a result, VR technology provides effective solutions to the resource challenges of the health and social services system.

It is easy for a therapist to use and edit exercise packages and communicate with a rehabilitee and their family. Anna-Liisa and her husband also did well with the VR technology, even though they had no previous experience using it.

One of the most significant positive effects for both Anna-Liisa and her husband was the feeling of help and that the training had improved their quality of life. The monitoring of exercise and her own performance further increased their motivation for exercising, as well as for her husband.

Contact us

Are you interested? You can book a personal demonstration with us, featuring the solutions that are best for you.

In addition to the exercise packages, we are developing a new tool to support the evaluation of neurological symptoms and the preparation of a treatment plan. We will gladly tell you more about it, in connection with a personal demonstration in person, or remotely.