A scoping review of the efficacy of virtual reality and exergaming on patients of musculoskeletal system disorder

Hui Ting Lin, Yen I. Li, Wen Pin Hu, Chun Cheng Huang, Yi Chun Du

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


To assess the effects of virtual reality on patients with musculoskeletal disorders by means of a scoping review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The databases included PubMed, IEEE, and the MEDLINE database. Articles involving RCTs with higher than five points on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale were reviewed for suitability and inclusion. The methodological quality of the included RCT was evaluated using the PEDro scale. The three reviewers extracted relevant information from the included studies. Fourteen RCT articles were included. When compared with simple usual care or other forms of treatment, there was significant pain relief, increased functional capacity, reduced symptoms of the disorder, and increased joint angles for the virtual reality treatment of chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Furthermore, burn patients with acute pain were able to experience a significant therapeutic effect on pain relief. However, virtual reality treatment of patients with non-chronic pain such as total knee replacement, ankle sprains, as well as those who went through very short virtual reality treatments, did not show a significant difference in parameters, as compared with simple usual care and other forms of treatment. Current evidence supports VR treatment as having a significant effect on pain relief, increased joint mobility, or motor function of patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders. VR seems quite effective in relieving the pain of patients with acute burns as well.

Original languageEnglish
Article number791
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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