Archive (2016–2006)

Modelling Ecological Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapies for Building Virtual Environments in Brain Injury

Journal: Methods of Information in Medicine
Subtitle: A journal stressing, for more than 50 years, the methodology and scientific fundamentals of organizing, representing and analyzing data, information and knowledge in biomedicine and health care
ISSN: 0026-1270

Focus Theme
Methodologies, Models and Algorithms for Patients Rehabilitation
Guest Editors: H. M. Fardoun, A. S. Mashat

Issue: 2016 (Vol. 55): Issue 1 2016
Pages: 50-59
Ahead of Print: 2015-09-22

Modelling Ecological Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapies for Building Virtual Environments in Brain Injury

Original Article

J. M. Martínez-Moreno (1, 2), P. Sánchez-González (1, 2), M. Luna (1, 2), T. Roig (3), J. M. Tormos (3), E. J. Gómez (1, 2)

(1) Biomedical Engineering and Telemedicine Centre, ETSI Telecomunicación. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; (2) Biomedical Research Networking Center in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, Madrid, Spain; (3) Instituto Universitario de Neurorrehabilitación Guttmann, Badalona, Spain


cognitive rehabilitation, brain injury, Virtual rehabilitation, Neurorehabilitation, ecological rehabilitation, interactive video, eye-tracking, activity of daily living


Background: Brain Injury (BI) has become one of the most common causes of neurological disability in developed countries. Cognitive disorders result in a loss of independence and patients’ quality of life. Cognitive rehabilitation aims to promote patients’ skills to achieve their highest degree of personal autonomy. New technologies such as virtual reality or interactive video allow developing rehabilitation therapies based on reproducible Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), increasing the ecological validity of the therapy. However, the lack of frameworks to formalize and represent the definition of this kind of therapies can be a barrier for widespread use of interactive virtual environments in clinical routine.

Objectives: To provide neuropsychologists with a methodology and an instrument to design and evaluate cognitive rehabilitation therapeutic interventions strategies based on ADLs performed in interactive virtual environments.

Methods: The proposed methodology is used to model therapeutic interventions during virtual ADLs considering cognitive deficit, expected abnormal interactions and therapeutic hypotheses. It allows identifying abnormal behavioural patterns and designing interventions strategies in order to achieve errorless-based rehabilitation.

Results: An ADL case study (’buying bread’) is defined according to the guidelines established by the ADL intervention model. This case study is developed, as a proof of principle, using interactive video technology and is used to assess the feasibility of the proposed methodology in the definition of therapeutic intervention procedures.

Conclusions: The proposed methodology provides neuropsychologists with an instrument to design and evaluate ADL-based therapeutic intervention strategies, attending to solve actual limitation of virtual scenarios, to be use for ecological rehabilitation of cognitive deficit in daily clinical practice. The developed case study proves the potential of the methodology to design therapeutic interventions strategies; however our current work is devoted to designing more experiments in order to present more evidence about its values.

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