Friday, June 8, 2012

Can Rehab with Wii Fit improve older adults' balance? #Exergaming Intervention

Dr. Abe Rendon's dissertation paper just popped up and it's focus is a 6-week randomized control trial on 40 older adults dynamic balance.Using Wii Fit as the intervention participants improved on two of the balance tests including 8-foot Up & Go test [median decrease of 1.0 versus -0.2 s, (P = 0.038) and the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (6.9 versus 1.3%) (P = 0.038)]. I love this conclusion: "virtual reality gaming provides clinicians with a useful tool for improving dynamic balance and balance confidence in older adults." Well done Dr.Abe!
Rendon AA, Lohman EB, Thorpe D, Johnson EG, Medina E, & Bradley B (2012). The effect of virtual reality gaming on dynamic balance in older adults. Age and ageing PMID: 22672915

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Dr.Abe's dissertation can be found here

Lots more research and applications at the upcoming Games for Health Conference in Boston.

Additional Games for Health Keynotes!
Constance Steinkuehler Squire, senior policy analyst for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will discuss the opportunities for videogames to address national challenges, including those in health, health care, and biotechnology.

Bill Crounse, MD, senior director of worldwide health for Microsoft, will present “Connecting & Kinecting Health and Health Care,” which will explore how Microsoft and its partners are merging its information and game technologies to create global solutions for personal health and professional health care.

Jane McGonigal, New York Times bestselling author and co-founder of SuperBetter Labs, will highlight the design and release of SuperBetter, a game-based social application designed to help people boost personal resilience and lead healthier, longer, and more positive lives.

Jay Walker, curator and chairman of TEDMED, a global community of people who passionately believe that the future of health and medicine is here, will provide the end-of-conference special guest keynote: “Gaming the System”.

About Games for Health
Founded in 2004, the Games for Health Project supports the development of the health games community, champions efforts to mainstream health games, and brings together researchers, medical professionals, and game developers to share information about the impact games and game technologies can have on health, health care, and policy. The Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a major supporter of both the Games for Health Project and its annual Games for Health Conference.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and its Pioneer Portfolio
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing the United States. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. Projects in the Pioneer Portfolio are future-oriented and look beyond conventional thinking to explore solutions at the cutting edge of health and healthcare. For more information, visit

BACKGROUND: physical therapy interventions that increase functional strength and balance have been shown to reduce falls in older adults.
AIM: this study compared a virtual reality group (VRG) and a control group (CG).
DESIGN: randomised controlled 6-week intervention with pre- and post-test evaluations.
SETTING: outpatient geriatric orthopaedic and balance physical therapy clinic.Population: forty participants were randomised into two groups.Method: the VRG received three different Nintendo® Wii FIT balance interventions three times per week for 6 weeks and the CG received no intervention.
RESULTS: compared with the CG, post-intervention measurements showed significant improvements for the VRG in the 8-foot Up & Go test [median decrease of 1.0 versus -0.2 s, (P = 0.038) and the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (6.9 versus 1.3%) (P = 0.038)].
CONCLUSION: virtual reality gaming provides clinicians with a useful tool for improving dynamic balance and balance confidence in older adults.


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