Researchers with the department of Occupational Therapy at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan have an article in press entitled Effectiveness of virtual reality using Wii gaming technology in children with Down syndrome.
Children with Down syndrome (DS) between the ages of 7 and 12 were randomly assigned to one of three groups: standard OT interventions (SOT), VR using Wii technology interventions (VRWii) or the control group. Sensori motor functions were the targeted outcome measures and were assessed pre and post intervention using The Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Second Edition(BOT-2)(Bruininks &Bruininks,2005), The Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration(VMI)(Beery, 1997), and The Test of Sensory Integration Function (TSIF)(Lin, 2004). Activities offered through Wii Sports were chosen for the VRWii intervention group. The results of this study indicated that the group of DS subjects who received Wii therapy demonstrated statistically significant improvement in motor proficiency, visual-integrative abilities and sensory integrative functions as compared to the SOT and control groups.
Evidence continues to mount in support of Wii-hab for improved outcomes in many populations. In this study as well as in the study published in October of 2008 by Judith E Deutsch, Megan Borbely, Jenny Filler, Karen Huhn and Phyllis Guarrera-Bowlby the authors comment on the intrinsic values of Wii technology including engagement, encouragement and feedback. Furthermore, Wii provides an opportunity for atypical children to interact with peers both with or without similar disabilities.