Research News Flash
Video games and virtual reality are being used in various capacities to improve health and increase physical activity. The purpose of this project was to examine the effects of supplementing standard rehabilitation with video game-based balance training for individuals with subacute stroke. Fifty participants were randomized into two groups:
- Standard physical therapy (40 minutes twice per day), as well as 12 to 20 minute sessions of Wii Fit balance training three times per week for four weeks;
- Standard physical therapy (40 minutes twice per day), as well as 20 minutes of balance therapy three times per week for four weeks (control group)
Outcomes were assessed at baseline, post-intervention, and one month follow-up, and included functional balance (Berg Balance Scale), walking ability (functional ambulation and speed), and disability (Barthel Index). Greater improvements were seen in balance and disability index in the Wii Fit group as compared to the control group. Based on these results, Wii Fit may serve as an effective addition to standard physical therapy in persons with subacute stroke.
Morone, G., Tramontano, M., Iosa, M., Shofany, J., Iemma, A., Musicco, M., Paolucci, S., &
Caltagirone, C. (2014).The efficacy of balance training with video game-based therapy in
subacute stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial. BioMed Research International. doi: 10.1155/2014/580861. Epub 2014 May 5