The effect of the Nintendo Wii Fit on balance control and gross motor function of children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

Dev Neurorehabil. 2012 Oct 3.

Jelsma J, Pronk M, Ferguson G, Jelsma-Smit D.

 Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town , South Africa.

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Abstract 
Objective: To study the impact of training using the Nintendo Wii Fit in 14 children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

Methods: A single-subject single blinded design with multiple subjects and baselines was utilised. Interactive video gaming (IVG) in lieu of regular physiotherapy was given for 3 weeks. Outcome measures included modified balance and running speed and agility (RSA) scales of the Bruininks-Oserestky test of Motor Performance 2 and the timed up and down stairs (TUDS).

Results: Balances score improved significantly (F(2, 26) = 9.8286, p = 0.001). Changes over time in the RSA (F(2, 26) = 0.86198, p = 0.434) and the TUDS (F(2, 26) = 1.3862, p = 0.268) were not significant. Ten children preferred the intervention to conventional physiotherapy.

Conclusion: Most children preferred the IVG but as the effect did not carry over into function, IVG should not be used in place of conventional therapy and further research is needed into its use as an adjunct to therapy.

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