Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wiihab and Balance

A recent study was published in Developmental Neurorehabilitation regarding the use of the Nintendo Wii to improve balance, motivation and function in children participating in acute rehabilitation following acquired  brain injury.

A multiple baseline, single study research design was used with three subjects who received daily Wii balance training.  The results indicated that two participants were equally motivated by traditional balance training and one participant was more motivated using the Wii.  Improvements were seen in dynamic balance and functional ability.  The results for static balance were inconclusive.

The researchers concluded that using the Wii is a safe and motivating tool for balance therapy for children with acquired brain injury.  Further research was recommended  regarding the use of the Wii for balance therapy.

Do you use the Wii in therapy sessions?  I have before and wish I could bring one with me for so many students that I see, particularly older students.

Here are the positives:

  • The motivation level is high
  • there is wonderful visual and occasionally tactile feedback
  • challenges motor planning skills
  • excellent feedback for weight shifting of the lower extremities
The negatives are:

  • motor planning skills can be very challenging for some children on certain games
  • difficult to travel with as a school based therapist
  • cost for the entire system is a bit pricey if you are paying out of your own pocket
I have considered putting together a Wii kit to include a small television or monitor, the Wii and the Wii Fit balance board.  If I tossed it into a small suitcase on wheels I could transport it to different schools.  Perhaps I will look for a second hand television set and Wii (now that the WiiU has come out I am sure there are plenty of people willing to unload the old Wii for cheap).  The Wii can be set up in a snap (unlike the Kinect that takes some time to calibrate to the room you are playing the game in).  I will be keeping my eyes out.

So back to the question do you use the Nintendo Wii in therapy sessions?      

Reference:Wii-habilitation as balance therapy for children with acquired brain injury Sandy K. Tatla, Anna Radomski, Jessica Cheung, Melissa Maron, and Tal Jarus Developmental Neurorehabilitation 0 0:0, 1-15 doi=10.3109%2F17518423.2012.740508

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...