Cognitive impairment, as well as mood and anxiety disorders, occur frequently in patients following stroke. Aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a combined rehabilitative treatment using conventional relaxation and respiratory techniques, in a specific rehabilitative virtual environment (by using Bts-Nirvana). A 58-year-old woman, affected by hemorrhagic stroke, underwent two different rehabilitation trainings, including either standard relaxation techniques alone in a common clinical setting or the same psychological approach in a semi-immersive virtual environment with an augmented sensorial (audio-video) and motor feedback (sensory motor-interaction). We evaluated the patient's cognitive and psychological profile before and after the two different trainings, by using a specific psychometric battery, aimed to assess cognitive status, attention processes and to estimate the presence of mood alterations, anxiety and coping strategies. Only at the end of the combined approach, we observed a significant improvement in attention and memory functions, with a nearly complete relief of anxiety symptoms and an improvement in coping strategies. Relaxation and respiratory techniques in a semi-immersive virtual reality environment, using Bts-Nirvana, may be a promising tool in improving attention process, coping strategies, and anxiety in individuals with neurological disorders, including stroke.
- Journal Article