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
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!
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.