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The use of gamification within motion-based interventions for children with cerebral palsy : a systematic review

Frentjen, C. (2015) The use of gamification within motion-based interventions for children with cerebral palsy : a systematic review.

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Abstract:Title: The use of gamification within motion-based interventions for children with cerebral palsy Background: Cerebral palsy is an umbrella-term used to describe a group of non-progressive disorders affecting predominantly voluntary movement and coordination. The functional impairment is a result of a lifelong damage to the brain. Current rehabilitation strategies for children with cerebral palsy focus on physical therapy of those body parts that are affected by functional impairments. Even though physical therapy methods are valued as effective, patients often have a lack of adherence to this treatment which could result in an unexploited potential of the exercise program. Gamification, which focuses on the implementation of game-methods, can facilitate the compliance by enhancing the patient’s motivation. Motion games as a therapeutic modality are novelties, whose effectiveness is promising based on current research. Objective: The general purpose of this study is to outline the feasibility of gamification as a method in physical rehabilitation programs within a population of children with cerebral palsy. In order to attain an overview of the current level of evidence a systematic literature study for existing intervention was conducted. A collection of 13 studies by a database (EndNote library), which has already been obtained in 2013, met the inclusion criteria of this review. The studies regarding game-based treatment are directed at the main functional conditions, such as promoting physical activity, motor control and balance. The intention is to provide systematic assessment of the prospects and opportunities of game-based therapy for children with cerebral palsy and to create a path for further studies in this research area. Results: The amount of game-based interventions was small amongst studies about physical therapy for cerebral palsy. Most of the selected articles were pilot studies or case studies, using only a small sample size. There was mostly an absence of well-designed and controlled research. Based on the findings of this review the game-based therapy is not more effective than conventional physical therapy. However nine studies concluded that games promote the motivation to practice and lead to an increased physical activity in both therapeutic and home-based therapy settings. This indicates that the use of motion games in rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy could potentially offer a unique new approach to promoting exercise and physical training. Conclusion: The outcomes from the reviewed interventions deliver preliminary support for the use of game-based physical treatment for children with cerebral palsy. However the feasibility of gamification as an effective treatment method for cerebral palsy has to be taken with caution. The generalizability of the study is restricted by a number of methodological limitations. Specific effects on functional physical impairments need to be explored through more reliable and adequate research design. In the future more convincing research will be needed, which primarily concentrates on children´s requirements while optimizing an individualized physical training.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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