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.PDF
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