Following an initially busy administrative period expanding IRS, we are now pleased for things to be settling down and enjoying the opportunity to take on new referrals. Our blog and testimonials page are also up and running (www.irs.gb.com) and we have recently been interviewed by a local newspaper on the role of an Occupational Therapist and the services offered by IRS. Additionally we have been asked by the editor of Choice magazine to provide a monthly feature, which we are looking forward to writing.

 

In the last couple of month we have been surprised to receive a lot of information on cybertherapy, particularly the use of virtual environments (VE) or virtual reality environments. VE has been show to be a powerful tool in various forms on rehabilitation. VE use a computer screen to simulate a particular environment which the patient interacts with via an external device such as a keyboard or joystick. This opens up interesting avenues for exploring human skill acquisition but also presents possibilities for guided learning in a remedial settings. Currently VE is used in psychological training, visual relearning, motor recovery and pain reduction during physical therapy. Although the research into VE for the assessment and treatment of patients is constantly growing, there remains debate about the effectiveness and how to best use VE in therapy. Additionally although VE has been used to address various different impairments most of the research seems to have focused on interventions with patients following a stroke. It will be interesting to follow the research in the future to see whether the use of VE is applicable to other individuals with neurological conditions.

For more information on VE in rehabilitation please use the following links:

Declan McNichol

Bill Young

Angela Gordon

Birgit Rathje-Vale

Helen Smart