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Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science

ISSN: 2155-9538

Open Access

Variations in Movement Patterns during Active Video Game Play in Children with Cerebral Palsy

Abstract

Ty Berry, Jennifer Howcroft, Sue Klejman, Darcy Fehlings, Virginia Wright and Elaine Biddiss

Aim: Low-cost active video games (AVG) are of growing interest for use in home-based physical therapy regimes. This study investigates typical upper-limb movement patterns and variations during AVG play in children with cerebral palsy.

Methods: Sixteen children (9.5 ± 1.6 years ) with hemiplegic or diplegic cerebral palsy (GMFCS Level I) participated in the study. A 7-camera Vicon MX 3D Optical Capture System was used to measure and record their upper limb movements as they played three different AVGs on the Nintendo Wii system.

Results: Play style during Wii sports games tended to be either realistic or non-realistic. All players used realistic movements when playing Wii Bowling, while 69% (n=11) and 63% (n=10) played realistically during Wii Tennis and Wii Boxing, respectively. Realistic movements tended to elicit greater use of: (a) the more proximal joints, and (b) the non-dominant/hemiplegic limb (in bilateral games). Play style may be influenced by personal or predisposing factors (e.g. MACS level, gender, experience with AVGs).

Conclusion: Movement patterns and styles vary widely between children during AVG play with the Nintendo Wii. The design of AVG-based therapies should consider these variations and their implications in order to maximize therapeutic benefit. Future studies should focus on measuring the efficacy of AVG-based therapies for home use.

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