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“Wii-habilitation”: The use of motion-based game consoles in stroke rehabilitation; a systematic review

Knüwer, J. (2014) “Wii-habilitation”: The use of motion-based game consoles in stroke rehabilitation; a systematic review.

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Abstract:Background: Current motor rehabilitation strategies for people who suffered a stroke focus on occupational therapy and physiotherapy and rely on repetitive, intensive and task-oriented training of the body parts that are affected by functional impairments. Though these training methods are generally effective, rehabilitation therapy is often perceived as monotonous and mundane, which could result in an incomplete recovery as patients lack in motivation to do the training exercises as recommended. Motion-based gaming consoles as the Nintendo Wii offer several ways for deployment that can help to facilitate the recovery of motor functionality and increase patient motivation. A great number of health practitioners affirm that the Wii is a feasible tool for stroke rehabilitation purposes. Still, relevant research that focuses on an assessment of the feasibility of the system is limited and there is a need for more comprehensive work in this field. Objective: This systematic review aims at summarizing the scientific work that is done in the field of integrating the Nintendo Wii into rehabilitation interventions for stroke patients. Methods: The review is based on a systematic literature search that was focused on interventions that make use of games and game elements in health contexts. The initial search yielded 4556 publications that were subsequently screened with regard to their relevance for this review, by using several established eligibility criteria. The use of these criteria ensured that the studies, that were featured in this review included a discrete intervention that was aimed at stroke rehabilitation and incorporated the Nintendo Wii. The data that were extracted from these studies were categorized into 5 different fields, namely study characteristics, intervention characteristics, evaluation of outcome measures, major advantages and limitations. Results: The final outcome of the screening phases yielded a number of 9 publications that met all of the established criteria for the inclusion in this systematic review. The major results that were derived from these interventions showed that Wii-based stroke therapy leads to significant improvements in motor functionality and increases patient motivation and engagement. Major advantages of the Wii system include the absence of adverse effects and the possibility that the Wii can be used for patients in the chronic phase post-stroke. Major limitations were identified as the Wii-gaming exercises required constant supervision and additional input from therapists and the integrated game feedback was not sensitive to measure a patient´s performance and progress in a compatible way. Conclusions: The findings of this research suggest that the Nintendo Wii is a feasible tool for stroke rehabilitation purposes that can keep up with traditional therapy approaches with regard to the functional outcomes and succeeds in enhancing active participation in the therapy sessions. The use of the system holds limitations in the field of home deployment as it requires constant attendance by healthcare professionals. Still, the results of this study suggest that the system is feasible for a wide-scaled integration into stroke therapy.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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