Virtual Reality and OT

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Virtual Reality and OT with Christopher Gaskins

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Whether or not you are personally a fan of virtually reality—all OTs should be following the developing research on this technology. 

In this episode, we’ll discuss an article where the authors explore the use of virtual reality (VR) systems that are built specifically for rehab versus general-use VR, like the Nintendo Wii and Xbox. 

The authors really focus on the active ingredients that seem to make VR-based rehab effective. And, they put forth the principles of neurorehab that underlie successful rehab. (They also specifically look at UE motor recovery after stroke, so this all feels so relevant to OT.)

After we review the article, we’ll welcome to the podcast our guest, Christopher Gaskins, MS, OTR/L, CSRS (and Neuroscience and Cognitive Science PhD Candidate) to talk about the research—and what it all means for your OT practice.

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Earn 1 hour of continuing education

1. Listen to the podcast for free.

2. Sign up for the OT Potential Club.

3. Pass the quiz and download your certificate!

Primary Journal Article Explored

When you log in, be sure to check out the OT Potential Club’s written breakdown of the following research article. Then, share your questions and thoughts with fellow practitioners.

Supporting Research and Journal Articles

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to identify the principles of neuro rehab that undergird the delivery of virtual reality based rehabilitation.
  • You will be able to recognize which outcomes are most likely to be impacted by VR-based stroke rehab (per the research.)


Intro (5 minutes)

Breakdown and analysis of journal article (5 minutes)

  • Why do we need tech like this in the first place?
  • Where does the research on VR for rehab stand?
  • Why has the VR-based rehab evidence been inconclusive?
  • What was the intent of this study?
  • What were their methods?
  • What were their results?
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Takeaways for OT practitioners

Discussion on practical implications for OTs (with Christopher Gaskins) (50 minutes)

  • How did you first find OT?
  • What drew you into neuro OT (and an interest in rehab tech?)
  • What were your impressions of the article?
  • Did you agree with the motor learning principles that they put forth?
  • Overall the interventions we look at that have a high level of evidence behind them take place in the patient’s natural environments. How do we reconcile this with VR? Should we be pursuing AR instead?
  • What role do you see for non-specific VR in OT?
  • What role do you see for therapy specific VR in OT?
  • Of all of the technologies coming out, where do you rank VR among the ones with the most promise?

See VR Technology for Rehab

We are keeping an updated list of VR for rehab on our post Occupational Therapy Tech Tools.

Occupational Therapy Tech Tools
This course on Virtual Reality and OT is AOTA approved!

This course is an independent/self-study course delivered via podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play & more. Explore your listening options on the OT Potential Podcast page.

If you need accommodations to take this course, please contact us and we will address your needs on an individual basis.

If this course were to be canceled, please see our cancellation policy on our terms page.

In order to receive a certificate for this course, you must first listen to the podcast in its entirety. Then, you will need to take the test (found at the top of this page) and earn 75% or higher. If you pass, a certificate will be automatically generated and sent to your email.

Target Audience/Educational Level

Our target audience is occupational therapy practitioners who are looking to learn about Virtual Reality and OT.  The educational level is introductory.

Financial and Non-financial Disclosures

It is the policy of OT Potential to disclose any financial and non-financial interest the provider or instructor may have in a product or service mentioned during an activity. This is to ensure that the audience is made aware of any bias of the speaker.

We here at OT Potential have no financial stake in this topic.  Our guest, Christopher Gaskins also has no financial disclosures. 


Christopher Gaskins, MS, OTR/L, CSRS:

Christopher Gaskins, MS, OTR/L, CSRS

Christopher has over 10 years of experience working as an occupational therapist (OT). He developed a passion for neurorehabilitation while working at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from 2011-2017. During this time, he also co-founded GoTherapy, a non-profit dedicated to increasing rehabilitation access in West Africa. He spearheaded GoTherapy’s efforts to develop the Stroke Community Re-Integration Program (SCRIP) in Dodowa, Ghana.

Christopher earned his B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina in 2007 and his M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Howard University in 2010. Christopher is currently CEO of Neurosuite, a Neuroscience and Cognitive Science PhD candidate at the University of Maryland and adjunct OT professor at Howard University. Read full bio.

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L:

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L

Sarah’s passion is helping fellow OT practitioners translate evidence into daily practice. Sarah earned her BA in religion from St. Olaf College, then earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from New York University in 2011.

Since then, she’s worked in numerous facilities, including a critical access hospital, an acute trauma hospital, and a state inpatient psychiatric hospital. Sarah is the founder/owner of OT Potential. Read more about OT Potential here.

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We designed the courses in the Club to meet the requirements for “online” and “independent/self-study” courses. For more details read our blog post: Can I earn OT CEUS from a podcast? To verify the requirements from your specific state (within the US), check out our post, OT Continuing Education Explained. If you are outside of the United States and have questions, please contact us.

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See our other OT courses!

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  • OT and Leadership
  • OT and CRPS
  • Advocacy in Pelvic Health
  • Hopes and Fears for AI
  • OT and Habits

Virtual Reality and OT • OT Potential

Today we’ll be covering “Virtual Reality and OT” We’ll look at new research and discuss it with Christopher Gaskens.

Course Provider: Organization

Course Provider Name: OT Potential

Course Provider URL:

Course Mode: Online

Start Date: 2022-10-17

Duration: 01:00:00

Course Type: Subscription

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