Monday, November 9, 2009

OT Students in North Carolina Research Benefits of Wii

Two professors along with six occupational therapy students from Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina are conducting a study into the effectiveness of Wii activities for Seniors(over 60). More specifically, these researchers will look at the impact of one game in the Wii Sports suite on quality of life, confidence in preventing falls and social skills in a specific population - those over 60 who live in a retirement community. The research team hopes to release the results of the study in January.

Students across the country are planning studies using Wii activities as the independent variable or the tool that is manipulated by the researcher. In the study mentioned above, the researchers have identified three dependent variables, quality of life, confidence in preventing falls and social skills. The researchers hope to find changes in those dependent variables as a result of the "application" of the independent variable which in this case is Wii Bowling. To find the anticipated changes this group of researchers will use a Pre-test, Post-test approach, which means that they will survey each group before the intervention (application of the independent variable) and then again after the intervention. The scores obtained from these 2 surveys will be compared using some statistical test. Usually the results of the statistical test is calculated using a computer program such as SPSS. The Wii intervention will prove to be effective if the difference between the 2 scores(Outcomes)are determined to show statistical significance, in other words, the differences in outcomes are so large that these differences probably are not due to chance.
Research requires perseverance and attention to detail. I look forward to reading the results of this study.

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