Feasibility and Benefit of Using the Nintendo Wii Fit for Balance Rehabilitation in an Elderly Patient Experiencing Recurrent Falls

JOURNAL OF STUDENT PHYSICAL THERAPY RESEARCH | 2010 VOLUME 2, NUMBER 1, ARTICLE 2

Tony Pigford, DPT
Director of Outpatient Physical Therapy, Duplin General Hospital – Kenansville, NC
A. Williams Andrews, PT, EdD, NCS
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy Education, Elon University – Elon, N

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ABSTRACT
Introduction: The purpose of this case report was to examine whether a balance training program utilizing the
Nintendo Wii Fit platform could improve dynamic balance control in an elderly patient with balance impairments.
Also, the investigators sought to determine whether the motivational aspect of the video games would stimulate the
patient’s desire to participate in the balance rehabilitation program. Case Description: An elderly patient with a
recent history of falls underwent two weeks of balance training utilizing the Wii Fit platform along with other
traditional therapeutic interventions. Pre-intervention and post-intervention outcome measures were recorded. For
this report, the selected outcome measures were: Berg Balance Scale, Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale,
Timed Up and Go, and gait speed. Outcomes: Post-intervention, the patient demonstrated improvements in all of
the selected balance outcome measures. During the intervention, the patient demonstrated a high level of
cooperation resulting in increased time spent performing balance activities. Conclusions: This case report gives
insight on how the Wii Fit was combined with more traditional physical therapy interventions to enhance an elderly
patient’s participation in the interventions and improve balance performance.

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