Background: Augmented reality (AR) is a relatively new technology which blends virtual objects with real scenes in real time and this may be an effective intervention to use in rehabilitation. Objectives: To systematically review the evidence for the effectiveness of AR applications on rehabilitation outcomes within a physical context. Method: A systematic search of the literature using specified search terms that included studies of any quantitative design testing AR applications in rehabilitation within a physical context. Results: The included 13 studies were of varying designs and generally rated poorly on methodological quality assessment. All studies reported varying degrees of improvement in outcomes with the use of AR applications. The technologies used were mostly in the prototype phase of development and were a mixture of simple and complex systems. Conclusion: AR applications for rehabilitation in a physical context are still in the early stages of development and thus evidence for effectiveness in rehabilitation is limited. The technology appears not ready for general practical use but the encouraging results support further research.
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