Objective: To investigate whether virtual reality (VR) training will help the recovery of cognitive function in brain tumor patients. Methods: Thirty-eight brain tumor patients (19 men and 19 women) with cognitive impairment recruited for this study were assigned to either VR group (n=19, IREX system) or control group (n=19). Both VR training (30 minutes a day for 3 times a week) and computer-based cognitive rehabilitation program (30 minutes a day for 2 times) for 4 weeks were given to the VR group. The control group was given only the computer-based cognitive rehabilitation program (30 minutes a day for 5 days a week) for 4 weeks. Computerized neuropsychological tests (CNTs), Korean version of Mini-Mental Status Examination (K-MMSE), and Korean version of Modified Barthel Index (K-MBI) were used to evaluate cognitive function and functional status. Results: The VR group showed improvements in the K-MMSE, visual and auditory continuous performance tests (CPTs), forward and backward digit span tests (DSTs), forward and backward visual span test (VSTs), visual and verbal learning tests, Trail Making Test type A (TMT-A), and K-MBI. The VR group showed significantly (p < 0.05) better improvements than the control group in visual and auditory CPTs, backward DST and VST, and TMT-A after treatment. Conclusion: VR training can have beneficial effects on cognitive improvement when it is combined with computerassisted cognitive rehabilitation. Further randomized controlled studies with large samples according to brain tumor type and location are needed to investigate how VR training improves cognitive impairment.
- Brain tumors
- Virtual reality therapy