The CIM Centre at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital is home to the state-of-the-art Computer-Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN).The first of its kind in western Canada, the CAREN was acquired through a partnership with the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and the Alberta Government. It consists of a robotic platform, a treadmill with force plates, a motion capture system, and a virtual reality screen with surround sound. Accompanying software allows the operator to create customized rehabilitation scenarios to address patients’ unique rehabilitation needs and abilities, ranging from children to older adults.
The CAREN is used for the rehabilitation of Glenrose patients as well as Canadian Forces personnel presenting with both physical and psychological injuries. The system can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions including stroke, amputation, traumatic brain injury, multiple orthopedic trauma, spinal cord injury, postural instability, sports injury, burns and psychiatric disorders such as phobias and PTSD. Applications can be scaled to provide the appropriate challenge for all levels of the rehabilitation spectrum.
The most unique aspect of the CAREN is that it creates a safe, controlled, scalable therapeutic environment for patients and soldiers requiring physical and mental rehabilitation. It allows participants to interact with the simulated environment for immediate feedback on performance. By using various therapeutic modalities, clinicians are able to implement a personalized program focusing on the specific needs of each patient. As the patient’s function improves, the system can adapt to maintain a challenge for the patient. Other important features are its motivating and engaging scenario that are presented in a “game like” environment, and the ability to layer tasks to increase the challenge.
The CAREN allows participants to interact with the simulated environment for immediate feedback on performance. Various therapeutic modalities are combined within one system, allowing a clinician to implement a personalized program that focuses on a patient’s specific needs. By shifting their weight, or by reaching, stepping or walking, a patient is able to control the platform motion on screen. In this way, the patient’s balance and mobility can be assessed, with the option of adding on other activities, for example, upper extremity reaching and coordination, visual field awareness, distractors and cognitive tasks.
Clinicians at the CIM Centre work as part of a multidisciplinary team, consisting of Dr. Jacqueline Hebert as Medical Advisor, CIM Operator, physical and occupational therapists from adult, pediatric and geriatric programs as well as students from physical and occupational therapy, engineering and kinesiology. During a typical CAREN session, the therapist and operator decide on the most appropriate applications and settings for the patient that will allow for the patient to achieve their functional goals.
Multi-Modal Virtual-Reality Based Treatment for Canadian Armed Forces Members with Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) Study. (2018). Brémault-Phillips, S. (PI), Jetly, R., Norbash, A., Vermetten, E., Gross, D., Miguel-Cruz, A., Pike, A., Jones, C., Ferguson-Pell, M.
Comparative Effectiveness of the Journey Total Knee Arthroplasty Relative to Standard of Care Total Knee Arthroplasty Prostheses: A Randomized Controlled Trial. (2019). Durand, D. (PI), Weeks, C., Beaupre, L., Masson, E., Lavoie, G, Ezeugwu, V., Ramadi, A.
Assessment of Dynamic Balance and Fall Risk in Sitting. (2016). Vette, A. (PI), Rouhani, H.
Development of a Performance Assessment Tool for the Computer-Assisted Rehabilitation Environment. Hebert J. (PI), 2017.
Physiologically Relevant Prosthetic Limb Movement Feedback for Upper and Lower Extremity Amputees. Hebert J. (PI), 2016.
Development of a CAREN Gait Analysis Protocol. Hebert J. (PI), 2014.
Dynamic Stability Assessment within Rehabilitation Virtual Reality Environments for Improved Mobility. Hebert J. (PI), 2013.
Use Of The Caren System To Improve Functional Outcomes And Return To Duty Of Soldiers In The Canadian Forces With Chronic Non-Specific Low Back Pain. Hebert J. (PI), 2012.