Efficacy of virtual reality-based training programs and games on the improvement of cognitive disorders in patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Khadijeh Moulaei, Hamid Sharifi, Kambiz Bahaadinbeigy & Fatemeh Dinari



Cognitive impairments present challenges for patients, impacting memory, attention, and problem-solving abilities. Virtual reality (VR) offers innovative ways to enhance cognitive function and well-being. This study explores the effects of VR-based training programs and games on improving cognitive disorders.


PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science were systematically searched until May 20, 2023. Two researchers selected and extracted data based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, resolving disagreements through consultation with two other authors. Inclusion criteria required studies of individuals with any cognitive disorder engaged in at least one VR-based training session, reporting cognitive impairment data via scales like the MMSE. Only English-published RCTs were considered, while exclusion criteria included materials not primarily focused on the intersection of VR and cognitive disorders. The risk of bias in the included studies was assessed using the MMAT tool. Publication bias was assessed using funnel plots and Egger’s test. The collected data were utilized to calculate the standardized mean differences (Hedges’s g) between the treatment and control groups. The heterogeneity variance was estimated using the Q test and I2 statistic. The analysis was conducted using Stata version 17.0.