Friday, July 27, 2012

Post-stroke Balance Improved With Yoga

Wii Fit Plus activities can be used in therapy in many creative ways. Wii therapy with yoga poses (found in the Wii Fit program) may be very beneficial. For individuals recovering from stroke, yoga helps improve balance, function, and quality of life. An occupational therapist led a study looking at the effects of a yoga program on participants who had strokes. The outcome measures included balance as measured by the 14-item Berg Balance Scale, balance efficacy as measured by the Balance Confidence scale and quality of life indicators as measured by the 49-item Stroke-Specific QoL scale. The researcher reports using seated, standing and floor postures. Wii Fit Plus offers 18 different Yoga poses as outlined in the Yoga Exercises for Wii Fit Plus cheat sheet. Each pose benefits the participant in ways ranging from improved postural alignment, to increased strength, to improved flexibility. Using yoga activities with Wii for therapy has the advantage of providing the therapist and patient with immediate feed back, a score that can be used to indicate improvement, and an easy way to boost carry through by including the Wii activities in a home program.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wii based Movement Therapy

What is that quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet? Remember? Juliet says, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet;" ******* WiiHab**** Wiihabilitation*****Wii Therapy*****Wii based Movement Therapy********* Different names; same results. Patient's have fun and have more motivation to stick with the rehab plan of care when Wii games are added as a complement to their traditional therapy program. P. McNultey, a neurophysiologist at Neuroscience Research Australia, presents data from her research in Brisbane today (July 20) demonstrating that patients who participated in an intensive 2 week program based on Wii showed significant improvement in their ability to use their limbs. This improvement occurred in participants even if they had experienced the stroke many years ago. Dr McNulty said, “The Wii is inexpensive, easy to use and, very importantly, fun. This type of rehabilitation motivates participants to actually complete their therapy, which is essential for maximum recovery.” Incorporating Wii into your treatment day makes therapy more fun for everyone. If set-up and space are concerns, try to pick a time slot or a day and use Wii activities as a therapeutic approach for the scheduled patients during that time. Are you wanting to increase your knowledge and understanding of which activities work best for which goals? Contact me about bringing The WiiHab Workshop to your area. What a fun way to earn those CEUs!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wii Fit as Therapy for Cancer Related Fatigue

Activities available through Wii Fit are showing value as a user-acceptable therapy to help combat cancer related fatigue in patients with non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A nursing researcher from Michigan State University College of Nursing reported on her study that utilized Wii Fit Plus walking and balance activities with post surgical patients as they recover and transition to home. The participants in the pilot study funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Nintendo Wii game system utilized the virtual exercises to help them build activity tolerance while focusing on the fun of exercise.********************************** OTs often work with cancer patients post surgically to help them meet the goals highlighted in this study including reduction in levels of cancer related fatigue (for increased independence in self care), reduction in sedentary lifestyle (for reduced likelihood of post surgical complications such as pneumonia), increase in activity tolerance (for higher levels of independence in home management tasks) and increase in engagement in leisure time activities (for improved feelings of self worth, reduced feelings of depression - resulting in more willingness to engage in self care and other occupational roles). WiiHab activities offered in Wii Fit Plus, evidence-based approaches, should be used to help patients meet these goals. This study demonstrated that patients like this type of self paced, light intensity activity when recovering from cancer surgery even during chemo and/or radiation.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wondering about Wii and Therapy?

A concern that often pops up during discussions about Wii and therapy is that the Wii is a passing trend for therapy. That idea may have been a possible concern initially, but after four to five years of use, research, and development Wii and newer video platforms have secured a place in treatment with many patient populations. Take a moment to read Do You Wii-Hab? Using Motion Gaming in Your Therapy Clinic . This great post by CHARLOTTE BOHNETT on highlights many uses for Wii in the clinic while also providing a brief comparison of Wii with Kinect for Xbox 360. Conversation among some researchers and developers of rehab software for both Wii and Kinect for Xbox 360 often gravitate to which system is best. My experience suggests that both systems offer benefits and a skilled therapist can use either system to achieve goals in their setting. An ongoing discussion among members of the WiiHab group on LinkedIn discuss some of the positive and negative aspects of each system. One frequently criticized aspect of Wii is the need for a hand held device or controller. Kinect for Xbox 360 does not require the player to hold a device. But critics of the Kinect system point out the need for a larger playing field. This aspect of the Kinect system sometimes makes using it difficult in certain clinic settings. Melissa from Chicago points out in this LinkedIn discussion that unlike the Wii system, the Kinect system is difficult to modify for some disabilities and furthermore, if a patient requires assistance to stand, the Kinect system will sometimes confuse the therapist holding the gate belt with the actual player.