Virtual Reality Exergaming: An MS rehabilitation study

This study seeks to explore the views of people with MS (PwMS) to potentially use VR-exergaming to improve physical function and cognition.

It is being conducted by Amir Moeinzadeh (PhD Candidate) at the University of Canterbury, School of Health Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Carl Petersen (Sports Scientist), Dr Ally Calder (Physiotherapist), Dr Simon Hoermann (Lecturer in Product Design) and guidance from Professor Leigh Hale (Physiotherapist and professor at Otago University) and Dr Deborah Mason (Neurologist) is also utilised.

The study consists of two phases, an individual interview and a focus group session for discussing participants’ views/ perceptions regarding the application of virtual reality-exergaming in their rehabilitation therapy. According to the recent consensus of international MS rehabilitation experts (2020), exercise with VR-gaming or VR-exergaming is recommended as an alternative method of rehabilitation instead of conventional exercise methods. There are several merits reported for utilizing this method such as increasing the compliance of patients for exercise, facilitating exercise as a home-based routine therapy. Interestingly, VR-exergaming was observed to have positive impacts not only on physical abilities but also on mental and cognitive capacities including memory and concentration. In this regard, exploring the views of PwMS about using VR-exergaming in their rehabilitation will contribute to utilizing more patient-oriented approaches. These approaches would be more appealing and target-oriented rehabilitation methods with highly likely more acceptance and adherence to the therapy.

Participants will be asked to participate in: 

  • 1 individual interview which includes a VR gaming experience to take place at the UC Campus
  • 1 group interview either in person or by Zoom or Skype

Are you eligible?

  • 18 years old or above
  • Able to walk 300m unassisted without resting
  • Normal vision
  • No MS attacks in the last 3 months
  • Lack of other chronic medical illnesses

For more information, download the participant information sheet.

To participate, or if you are unsure if you meet the requirements, call or email:

Dr. Amir Moeinzadeh
amir.moeinzadeh@pg.canterbury.ac.nz
+64 204 0190 930

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Jan Campbell

Chairperson

Born in Ōtautahi Jan trained as a nurse in Christchurch, as a midwife in Winchester, UK and has a degree in philosophy with particular interest in healthcare and business ethics.

After working in the public health system in the UK and NZ, Jan joined Roche Pharmaceuticals based in Auckland in 1999. As a respected senior leader and Medical Director, she established a medical division over the ensuing 20 years responsible for significant investment in clinical trials in NZ, developing a top-class global medicine information service, compassionate medicine supply for kiwis in need, pharmacovigilance oversight and a team working closely with patients, specialists, MEDSAFE and PHARMAC to support the safe and appropriate use of Roche medicines.

As a retiree Jan has volunteered for Mercy Hospice in Auckland and the WBoP Museum in Katikati. Now living in Ōtepoti, Jan sits on both the MS Research Trust and MSNZ executive committees with a keen interest to ensure people with MS get a fair go in NZ.

Dr Elza Cloete

Trustee

Elza is a Neonatal Paediatrician at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. Originally from South Africa, she moved to New Zealand in 2006 and completed her specialist training in Auckland.

Subsequent to that she embarked on doctoral studies at the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute and obtained a PhD investigating congenital heart disease in new-born babies.

Elza received the Vice-Chancellor’s award for best doctoral thesis for her research and is the author of several research publications. She moved to Christchurch in 2020 for a work opportunity in clinical practice.

Elza was diagnosed with MS in 2012 and brings a consumer perspective and research experience to the Trust.

Kate Russell - ONZM FFINZ

Trustee

Kate has a thirty year history of working in the community as an enabler, fundraiser, strategic advisor and change maker.

Former CEO of Cystic Fibrosis NZ and the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation, Kate has held many Board positions as well as membership on several government advisory boards such as Pharmac and The Paediatric Society.

Fellow of the Fundraising Institute of NZ, Kate has raised more than 30 million dollars for charity over her career and became an officer of the NZ Order of Merit in 2018 for services to health and governance.

Currently, Partnerships Manager with the ChCh City Council, Kate is a published author and mentors a number of young professionals through Business Mentors NZ and in her spare time, is a marriage celebrant

Kelly Scott

Trustee

Missing Content!!!

Dr Ernie Willoughby

Trustee

Dr Willoughby has been a consultant neurologist at Auckland City Hospital (1979 to 2021 – now retired, emeritus) and clinical associate professor at Auckland University School of Medicine.

He directed the MS clinic at Auckland Hospital, has had a long association with the Auckland and NZ MS Societies, and is a member of the International Medical and Scientific Board of the MS International Federation.

Dr Brian Linehan

Independent Trustee

Dr Brian Linehan is a retired pathologist who was previously Managing Director of Medlab Hamilton.

He is currently Chairman of the Tranmere group of investment companies and a Director of a number of other private companies. In 2014, he retired after 12 years on the Council of the University of Waikato where he was Pro-Chancellor.

He is a past Chairman of the New Zealand Medical Association, past Chairman of NZMA Ethics Committee, past President and Chairman of CMAAO (Combined Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania) and past Chairman of IANZ (International Accreditation NZ).

Brian was diagnosed with MS in 2007 but is still active and mobile.

Peter Wood - JP, BCom, AGNZ, ACIS, FNZTA

Treasurer

Peter gained his commerce degree at Victoria University of Wellington and has been practising as a Chartered Accountant initially in Wellington and then in Tauranga.

Peter was a respected and trusted advisor to many businesspeople.
He is now resident in Auckland and consultants to a limited number business clients.

He has also served his community through involvement with Jaycees, Lions and Rotary clubs and a number of charitable trusts.

Peter is currently the Treasurer of Multiple Sclerosis Auckland and a trustee of the Multiple Sclerosis Auckland Trust.
Peter is a Justice of the Peace and a member Governance New Zealand and is a Fellow of the NZ Trustees’ Association.

Malcolm Rickerby

Trustee

Malcolm is on the National Executive Committee for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New Zealand. Malcolm is a Past-President both the National Society and the Multiple Sclerosis & Parkinson’s Society of Canterbury.

He is respected for his governance and support for staff in the drive to deliver the best medical outcomes and support for people with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s as well as keeping them in their communities.

He is a Rotarian and in the forefront of delivering a programme to primary schools to reduce obesity and diabetics in children, called Healthy Heroes, in the 9970 District.

Malcolm has been Chairperson of a High School Board of Governors, secretary, treasurer of a local primary school committee, coached women’s cricket and was a member of Canterbury Women’s Cricket Council. He has also served as a vestryman and vicars warden in the Anglican Christchurch Diocese.

Neil Woodhams

Trustee

Neil is an independent health management consultant who has had an extensive career in health management as a senior manager or consultant to government, DHBs, primary care and community providers.

Neil is President of MS New Zealand and a trustee of the MS Auckland Region Trust. Neil was also President of MS Auckland until he stepped down from this role mid-2020 to concentrate on his national roles.

Neil’s wife was diagnosed with MS in 1994. One of his four sons was also diagnosed in 2010.

Neil strongly believes in the objectives of the NZ Multiple Sclerosis Research Trust and has advocated for the establishment of the Trust for over 10 years.

Sir William Gallagher

Trustee

Sir William is renowned as a motivational, pragmatic and hands-on businessman in and outside of New Zealand and has a reputation both as a dynamic leader and one of NZ’s most astute businessmen.

Still very involved in the daily operation, he maintains regular contact with customers in the 130 countries in which Gallagher products are sold spending up to 150 days a year on the road representing the company and its philosophies and emphasising the ethics and integrity of his professional and personal dealings.

His achievements have been officially recognised by a string of awards, the latest to mark his commitment to enterprise and leadership skills being his Knighthood in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List. He was also the 1996 winner of the prestigious Excellence in Communication Leadership award, the first time in its history that it had been awarded outside of North America. He also received an MBE in 1987 followed by a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 1998.

Sir William Gallagher - KNZM, MBE. HonD

Patron

Sir William is renowned as a motivational, pragmatic and hands-on businessman in and outside of New Zealand and has a reputation both as a dynamic leader and one of NZ’s most astute businessmen.

Still very involved in the daily operation, he maintains regular contact with customers in the 130 countries in which Gallagher products are sold spending up to 150 days a year on the road representing the company and its philosophies and emphasising the ethics and integrity of his professional and personal dealings.

His achievements have been officially recognised by a string of awards, the latest to mark his commitment to enterprise and leadership skills being his Knighthood in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List. He was also the 1996 winner of the prestigious Excellence in Communication Leadership award, the first time in its history that it had been awarded outside of North America. He also received an MBE in 1987 followed by a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 1998.