Abstract

Introduction: Pulmnonary Rehabilitation (PR) programs have a beneficial effect on disease management, improving patients' functional capacity and quality of life of COPD patients. As an alternative to traditional programs or as a complementary activity, the inclusion of Active Video Games in rehabilitation programs or even the realization of a program through Virtual Reality(VR) could be an option.

Aim: The aim of this research study was to investigate the effectiveness of VR in the rehabilitation of patients with COPD.

Methods: A systematic literature search was performed to find randomized controlled trials in the electronic databases Google Scholar, PubMed and Pedro. Search strategy was based on words such as: ?Virtual reality?, ?Video Games?, COPD and/or rehabilitation. The PeDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database) scale was chosen as the tool to assess the quality of studies.

Results: Eight studies were included in this systematic review. The variables examined were: exercise endurance/aerobic capacity for exercise, lung function, dyspnea, quality of life, anxiety and depression. In the majority of the studies, an improvement in the variables was found without achieving a statistically significant difference between the groups, with the exception of exercise capacity. A diversity was found in the technological population and in the applications used.

Conclusion: The application of VR is recommended in COPD patients, in combination with conventional physiotherapy or physical exercise. Therefore, further research regarding the effectiveness of VR in patients with COPD, seem necessary.