Friday, April 17, 2009

Gathering Evidence of the Effectiveness of Wii-Hab

Therapists are always encouraged to think in terms of evidence-based approaches when designing treatment plans for their patients.  Local newspapers and blogs , including WiiHab - Rehabilitative Therapy Using the Wii, often publish stories about Wii and the use of Wii Sports and Wii Fit in therapy.  The March 2, 2009 addition of Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners published an article by Elizabeth Karan that included treatment success stories for 2 patients who had suffered strokes.  She told about improvements in balance and endurance as well as improved function in ADL performance and ambulation.
Gathering actual evidence-based outcomes take time because researchers must design a study, gain approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), and in many cases, find research subjects to study before finally conducting the experiment and collecting the data.  But researchers are busy doing all of those things to find out just how effective the Wii is for therapy.  Medical College of Georgia is conducting a study to determine if occupational therapy enhances the treatment for Parkinson's Disease.  
Playing Wii is part of that treatment.  
Judith E DeutschMegan BorbelyJenny Filler
Karen Huhn and Phyllis Guarrera-Bowlby published
a case report in October of 2008 in which they explained 
the benefits playing Wii had for an Adolescent With Cerebral Palsy . 
Now, a researcher in Canada is looking for subjects
 to participate in her study as she works to 
measure the

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Benefits of Wii from a Patient's Perspective

Occupational therapists like to utilize a patient-center approach in all aspects of treatment.  According to this article, Nintendo Wii as Therapy and Fun For Multiple Sclerosis, Wii, from a patient's perspective, is both enjoyable and therapeutic when coping with Multiple Sclerosis.  
 Problems for those with multiple sclerosis include fatigue, balance, flexibility and motor control.  Wii provides an array of activities which encourage a person to use and improve balance, flexibility and motor control.  These activities are fun and engaging, helping the participant focus on what they can do.  These self-paced activities allow for frequent rests while providing excellent feedback on improvements in a fun format.  Wii sports games, such as Bowling, baseball and Tennis help with motor control and flexibility.  The training moduals for each sport records your progress while the fitness modual calculates your Wii Age and posts it for encouragement.  Wii fit has great activities for improving balance and flexibility.  All of these games can be played for short periods with rests as needed.  Wii therapy brings a smile to all who try it.  Have you tried wiihab in your clinical setting yet?