Patient perspectives on virtual reality-based rehabilitation after knee surgery: Importance of level of difficulty

Minyoung Lee, Dongwon Suh, Jaebum Son, Jungjin Kim, Seon Deok Eun, Bum Chul Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This article explored the perspectives of 25 patients regarding virtual reality (VR)-based rehabilitation following knee surgery and identified the important factors that allowed patients to immerse themselves in rehabilitation. Qualitative analysis of data collected via open-ended questionnaire and quantitative analysis of data from physical assessments and surveys were conducted. In the open-ended questionnaire, the majority of participants mentioned level of difficulty as the most common reason for selecting both the most and the least immersive exercise programs. Quantitative analysis showed that participants experienced a high level of flow (3.9 +/– 0.3 out of 5.0) and a high rate of expectation of therapeutic effect (96%) and intention of exercise adherence (96%). Further, participants with more severe pain or physical dysfunction tended to have more positive experiences (e.g., Difficulty-Skill Balance, Clear Goals, and Transformation of Time), leading to high levels of flow during VR-based rehabilitation. In conclusion, VR-based games are potentially acceptable as a motivational rehabilitation tool for patients following knee surgery. However, to best meet patients' needs, it might be useful to equip a VR program with varied levels of difficulty, taking into account the severity of the individual's knee injury. Additionally, severe pain or physical dysfunction might act as an indication rather than a contraindication for VR-based rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-252
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Rehabilitation Research and Development Service. All Rights Reserved.


  • Flow experience
  • Knee injury
  • Level of difficulty
  • Motivation
  • Pain
  • Patient perspectives
  • Physical function
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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