The effectiveness of artificial intelligent 3-D virtual reality vocational problem-solving training in enhancing employment opportunities for people with traumatic brain injury

Authors: Marini, I., Lee, G. K., Chan, F., Chapin, M. H., & Romero, M. G.
Year Published 2013
Publication Brain Injury
Volume 27
Number 9
Pages 1016-1025
Publisher Informa Healthcare

Individuals who sustain traumatic brain injuries face a myriad of cognitive and other disabilities post injury. Deficits in executive functioning are one of the major problems that impact work. Psychosocial educational interventions and computer assisted training have helped some individuals learn to problem solve. Virtual reality may also be a useful tool.


This study explored whether or not participants with artificially intelligent VR based vocational problem solving skill training would show better problem solving skills and employment outcomes, than those who received conventional psychosocial program.


The training modules were developed at a University lab in Hong Kong. Where the study took place was not clear.


The study sample included 40 people from Hong Kong with mild (N=20)and moderate (N=20) traumatic brain injury. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two study groups.

Data Collection

The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the Tower of London Test were administered to participants. In addition, the Vocational Cognitive Rating Scale was completed by the participant's case manager or supervisor of a rehabilitation facility or center. After the pretest each participant started either the virtual or psychosocial training. The content and structure of the two programs were similar. Each included an introduction to training objectives, training in specific vocational skills and practice and a review of those skills. The virtual program was interactive in nature. The psycho educational vocational training system included a training manual and was delivered under the guidance of a trainer. Post test were also conducted on the previously cited measures. Information about the participants employment status was collected at one, three and six month intervals. Statistical analysis were performed using SPSS for Windows Version 17.


The control condition was traditional psycho-educational training.


There was no significant differences in the participants in screening criteria or baseline of outcomes between the virtual training and psycho education program. Those who participated in the virtual training showed improvements in selective cognitive functioning. However, the training did not transfer to functional real world outcomes, as indicated by limited success in vocational outcomes. The virtual training was more cost effective than workshop based training.


Virtual reality training may improve memory functioning and have other applications for vocational rehabilitation. More research is needed.

Disabilities Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Populations Asian
Outcomes Employment acquisition
NIDILRR Funded Yes
Research Design Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)
Peer Reviewed Yes