Stroke patients’ experiences with Wii Sports® during inpatient rehabilitation

Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Posted online on February 20, 2012
Authors: Dora Celinder & Hanne Peoples
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Introduction: Commercial virtual reality games have been used as adjunct therapy for stroke rehabilitation, mainly after patients have been discharged. The aim of this study was to explore stroke patients’ experiences with Wii Sports® as a supplement to conventional occupational therapy in a controlled hospital setting.
Materials and methods: The study had a qualitative triangulation design that included semi-structured interviews and field notes. Nine Danish stroke patients participated, receiving between one and nine interventions with Wii Sports® during a three-week period. Responses were coded by qualitative content analysis.
Results: Analysis revealed one overarching category, “Connecting to past, present, and future occupations”, and three categories that encompassed patients’ experiences with Wii: (i) variety, (ii) engagement, and (iii) obstacles and challenges. Interview findings were confirmed by field notes that included observations of engagement and challenges.
Discussion: Stroke patients in hospital settings may experience Wii Sports® as a beneficial and challenging occupation for both rehabilitation and leisure. Incorporation of Wii Sports® into conventional occupational therapy services may benefit patient rehabilitation directly or provide motivation for alternative leisure activities.

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