Proof of concept for the use of immersive virtual reality in upper limb rehabilitation of Multiple Sclerosis patients

Rachel-Anne Hollywood*, Matthieu Poyade, Lorna Paul, Amy Webster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease which gradually reduces motor function and mobility. Virtual reality(VR) has been successfully utilised in support of existing therapeutic approaches for many different conditions, and new innovative and experimental features could be the future of VR rehabilitation. The Quest is a new headset by Oculus, with its built-in tracking, relatively low cost, portability and lack of reliance on expensive processing heavy PCs to power it, and could be an ideal system to facilitate at-home or clinic-based upper limb rehabilitation. A hand-tracking-based rehabilitation game aimed at people with MS was developed for Oculus Quest using Unity. Two distinct games were made to replicate different types of hand exercises, piano playing for isolated finger flexion and maze tracking for coordination and arm flexion. This pilot study assesses the value of such approach along with evaluating intrinsic and extrinsic methods of providing feedback, namely, positive scoring, negative scoring and audio response. One physiotherapist and two individuals with MS were surveyed. Participant response was positive although small sample size impacts the user testing validity of the results. Future research is recommended to build off the data gathered as a pilot study and increase sample size to collect richer feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomedical Visualisation
EditorsPaul M. Rea
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783030877798
ISBN (Print)9783030877781
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Virtual reality rehabilitation
  • Hand-tracking
  • Oculus Quest
  • Upper limb rehabilitation
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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