Application of Virtual Reality Rehabilitation System for the assessment of postural control while standing in typical children and peers with neurodevelopmental disorders
10 December 2021
Background: The assessment of postural control in children is … Application of Virtual Reality Rehabilitation System for the assessment of postural control while standing in typical children and peers with neurodevelopmental disorders
Background: The assessment of postural control in children is crucial, due to its central role in their overall development. However, a tool that objectively quantifies the difference in postural control between typical and atypical developing children is lacking. In this study, we introduce a new technology (Virtual Reality Rehabilitation System, VRRS) for assessing children’s postural control.
Research question: Is this new assessment tool capable to highlight the differences between typical development (TD) and atypical development, (children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and Cerebral Palsy (CP))?
Methods: 30 TD children, 20 children with DCD and 27 with CP (mean ages: 6.29 ± 2.74; 9.11 ± 2.65; 10.07 ± 3.89 years) were tested with the VRRS Tablet with stabilometric balance platform. Postural parameters, related to the movements of the Centre of Pressure (COP) were collected. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) followed by a post-hoc analysis has been carried out. Moreover, the influence of age, sex, clinical scores and sub-diagnoses on parameters of interest has been explored.
Results: COP distance and sway area in the three groups (TD: 7.35 ± 2.32 mm, 101.70 ± 64.16 mm2/s; DCD: 12.05 ± 8.19 mm, 188.46 ± 231.23 mm2/s; CP: 13.25 ± 8.09 mm, 239.13 ± 313.83 mm2/s, respectively) and all other VRRS parameters were significantly different among the three groups (p-values between 0.028 and <0.001). The TD group showed significantly different values than CP (p from < 0.03 to < 0.001) but not than DCD (p = n.s.). Clinical scores showed to correlate with the COP distances and Root Mean Square distances in all subgroups (p < 0.05). For age, only an influence was found within the TD group (p < 0.01); sex did not show to affect the outcomes (p = n.s.).
Significance: An objective tool for quantitative measurement of postural control in childhood is needed. Our proposed VRRS tool could support the traditional assessment tests, highlighting differences between typical and atypical development.