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Research Article  |   September 2009
Training Multitasking in a Virtual Supermarket: A Novel Intervention After Stroke
Author Affiliations
  • Debbie Rand, PhD, OT, is Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, T325-2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 2B5 Canada. At the time of the study, she was an Instructor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Services, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel; Debbie.Rand@vch.ca
  • Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss, PhD, OT, is Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
  • Noomi Katz, PhD, OTR, is Director, Research Institute for the Health and Medical Professions, Ono Academic College, Kiryat Ono, Israel, and Professor Emeritus, School of Occupational Therapy, Hebrew University and Hadassah, Jerusalem
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Stroke / Treatment Effects
Research Article   |   September 2009
Training Multitasking in a Virtual Supermarket: A Novel Intervention After Stroke
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2009, Vol. 63, 535-542. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.5.535
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2009, Vol. 63, 535-542. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.5.535
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. To explore the potential of the VMall, a virtual supermarket running on a video-capture virtual reality system, as an intervention tool for people who have multitasking deficits after stroke.

METHOD. Poststroke, 4 participants received ten 60-min sessions over 3 weeks using the VMall. The intervention focused on improving multitasking while the participant was engaged in a virtual shopping task. Instruments included the Multiple Errands Test–Hospital Version (MET–HV) in a real mall and in the VMall.

RESULTS. Participants achieved improvements ranging from 20.5% to 51.2% for most of the MET–HV measures performed in a real shopping mall and in the VMall.

CONCLUSIONS. The data support the VMall's potential as a motivating and effective intervention tool for the rehabilitation of people poststroke who have multitasking deficits during the performance of daily tasks. However, because the sample was small, additional intervention studies with the VMall should be conducted.