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Open Access Wii-based movement therapy to promote improved upper extremity function post-stroke: A pilot study

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Background: Virtual-reality is increasingly used to improve rehabilitation outcomes. The Nintendo Wii offers an inexpensive alternative to more complex systems.

Objective: To investigate the efficacy of Wii-based therapy for post-stroke rehabilitation.

Methods: Seven patients (5 men, 2 women, aged 42–83 years; 1–38 months post-stroke, mean 15.3 months) and 5 healthy controls (3 men, 2 women, aged 41–71 years) undertook 1 h of therapy on 10 consecutive weekdays. Patients progressively increased home practice to 3 h per day.

Results: Functional ability improved for every patient. The mean performance time significantly decreased per Wolf Motor Function Test task, from 3.2 to 2.8 s, and Fugl-Meyer Assessment scores increased from 42.3 to 47.3. Upper extremity range-of-motion increased by 20.1° and 14.33° for passive and active movements, respectively. Mean Motor Activity Log (Quality of Movement scale) scores increased from 63.2 to 87.5, reflecting a transfer of functional recovery to everyday activities. Balance and dexterity did not improve significantly. No significant change was seen in any of these measures for healthy controls, despite improved skill levels for Wii games.

Conclusion: An intensive 2-week protocol resulted in significant and clinically relevant improvements in functional motor ability post-stroke. These gains translated to improvement in activities of daily living.

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Keywords: FUNCTIONAL ABILITY; HEMIPLEGIA; MOTOR CONTROL; STROKE REHABILITATION; UPPER LIMB; VIRTUAL REALITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is the international peer-reviewed journal published in English, with at least 10 issues published per year.

    Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, special reports and letters to the editor are published, as also are editorials and book reviews. The journal strives to provide its readers with a variety of topics including: functional assessment and intervention studies, clinical studies in various patient groups, methodology in physical and rehabilitation medicine, epidemiological studies on disabling conditions and reports on vocational and sociomedical aspects of rehabilitation.

    The journal is read by a wide group of healthcare professionals including specialists in rehabilitation medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology, general medicine, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    Contributions from all parts of the world and from different professions in rehabilitation are welcome.

    ISI Impact Factor 2009: 1.882.

    Owned by Foundation of Rehabilitation Information.

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