Friday, 24 September 2010

A "Wii" bit of fun: The effects of adding Nintendo Wii Bowling to a standard exercise regimen for residents of long term care.

Physiother Theory Pract. 2010 Aug 10.

Hsu JK, Thibodeau R, Wong SJ, Zukiwsky D, Cecile S, Walton DM.

Physiotherapist, Merivale Professional Physiotherapy Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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The aims of this randomized, single-blind crossover trial were to investigate the effect of adding a simulated bowling video game via the Nintendo Wii((R)) gaming system to the standard exercise regimen of cognitively intact residents of long-term care (LTC) with upper extremity dysfunction and to identify individual characteristics that might predict improvement. Residents (n=34) were recruited through two LTC facilities in southwestern Ontario and were randomized into a standard exercise (SG) or standard exercise plus Wii bowling (Wii) arm. After 4 weeks of intervention, the groups were crossed over to the opposite arm. Outcomes included measures of pain intensity and bothersomeness, physical activity enjoyment, and a six-item measure of functional capacity designed specifically for residents of LTC. Results suggest that subjects improved on all outcomes from pre- to postintervention but that only enjoyment of activity showed a significant difference between the SG and Wii groups. Effect sizes (Cohen's d) ranged from small (0.30 for bothersomeness) to large (1.77 for functional capacity). Responders, defined as those subjects who reported any degree of improvement following the Wii intervention, were less likely to complain of stiffness or shoulder symptoms and were more likely to complain of hand symptoms than non-responders. Limitations in interpretation and recommendations for future research are presented.

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