Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Study Shows Mood Alters reaction to Pain

Results of a recently published study indicate that negative and positive emotions are closely related to pain perception. Lead author, Mathieu Roy, a post=doc student at Columbia, reports that negative emotions are shown to amplify our perception of pain. The subjects reacted more strongly to painful stimuli while looking at unpleasant images than they did when they gazed upon pleasant images.
Wii Bowling seems to have a similar affect on residents of nursing facilities. My personal experiences using Nintendo Wii in therapy suggest that the results of this study ring true. Clients who complain of pain as they stand at a table top doing unilateral or bilateral upper extremity tasks seem relatively pain free as they stand gazing at pleasant Wii scenes, bowling frame after frame. Standing for longer periods while not perceiving pain helps clients boost their confidence while building strength, balance, and endurance for daily activities, functional transfers and functional mobility .

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.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Career TV Features "Wii OT" using Wii in Therapy

Career TV posted a newly created segment featuring the "Wii OT". Watch this video to see how incorporating Wii into therapy helps many clients improve their function.

Fall, Football, and Wii-Hab

Occupational and physical therapists in the Northeast have two upcoming opportunities this Fall to attend Wii-Hab: Using Nintendo Wii in a Therapeutic Setting. Therapists in the Baltimore/Washington area can still sign up for this course being offered at Anne Arundel Community College on Saturday, November 21, 2009. To sign up, contact Continuing Education by phone at 410-777-2325 or email at This course runs from 8AM until 4PM. If your favorite football team has any kick off time other than NOON, attendees will be able to enjoy both experiences in one day. Call today to secure a spot in this interactive and engaging continuing education opportunity.
On December 5, 2009, therapists in South Jersey may attend this Workshop at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Sign up today and enjoy this opportunity.
OTs, PTs, COTAs, and PTAs will gain continuing education credit in a fun, active program that will help build confidence in using new technology with clients who have various diagnoses including joint replacement, stroke, cancer related fatigue, COPD, and others.