Thursday, 30 September 2010

EXercising with Computers in Later Life (EXCELL) - pilot and feasibility study of the acceptability of the Nintendo® WiiFit in community fallers

BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:238

Marie A Williams , Roy L Soiza , Alison McE Jenkinson and Alison Stewart

Published: 13 September 2010

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Falls management programmes have been instituted to attempt to reduce falls. This pilot study was undertaken to determine whether the Nintendo® WiiFit was a feasible and acceptable intervention in community-dwelling older fallers.

Community-dwelling fallers over 70 years were recruited and attended for computer-based exercises (n = 15) or standard care (n = 6). Balance and fear of falling were assessed at weeks 0, 4 and 12. Participants were interviewed on completion of the study to determine whether the intervention was acceptable.

Eighty percent of participants attended 75% or more of the exercise sessions. An improvement in Berg Score was seen at four weeks (p = 0.02) and in Wii Age at 12 weeks (p = 0.03) in the intervention group. There was no improvement in balance scores in the standard care group.

WiiFit exercise is acceptable in self-referred older people with a history of falls. The WiiFit has the potential to improve balance but further work is required.

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