SLP views of virtual reality in TBI rehabilitation (Brassel et al., 2023)
Purpose: Using virtual reality (VR) to support rehabilitation is an emerging area of research that may offer people with communication disorders a stable and safe communication environment to practice their communication skills. There are currently no VR applications that have been designed to assess or treat cognitive-communication disorders (CCDs) following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Therefore, this study aimed to explore the views of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work with people who have a TBI to generate ideas and considerations for using VR in rehabilitation for CCDs. VR researchers were included to provide expert advice about VR technology.
Method: A total of 14 SLPs and three VR specialists participated in an online interview or focus group. Semistructured discussions explored participants’ perspectives related to potential ideas for VR use and any perceived barriers and facilitators to VR implementation in rehabilitation of CCDs following TBI. Data were video- and audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed qualitatively using thematic analysis.
Results: Three main themes were generated from thematic analysis: VR is a tool that could enhance clinical practice, the need to consider and navigate potential red flags, and solutions to pave the way forward. Suggestions to overcome perceived barriers to VR use were also provided.
Discussion: Participants expressed interest in using VR for rehabilitation of CCDs following TBI. However, potential barriers and risks to use should be considered prior to implementation. The findings offer guidance to support future research and development of VR in this field.
Supplemental Material S1. Example of a Coding Tree for Theme 2.
Supplemental Material S2. Research Team Details.
Supplemental Material S3. COREQ Checklist.
Supplemental Material S4. Suggestions to Address Perceived Barriers and Risks Associated with Virtual Reality.
Brassel, S., Brunner, M., Power, E., Campbell, A., & Togher, L. (2023). Speech-language pathologists’ views of using virtual reality for managing cognitive-communication disorders following traumatic brain injury. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 32(2S), 907–923. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_AJSLP-22-00077
Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the International Cognitive-Communication Disorders Conference.