Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why WiiHab May Be Helpful Therapy In Preventing Falls

The Lancet published results of what researchers, observing falls in long term care residents, found through videos of the incidents. Take a minute to read the summary of this study (primary source: Robinovitch S, et al "Video capture of the circumstances of falls in elderly people residing in long-term care: an observational study" Lancet 2012; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61263-X.) as published on MEDPAGE. Interestingly, the study found falls in this long term care population occurred at higher rates during standing and transferring and at lower rates during walking, with a larger proportion of falls attributed to center-of-mass disturbances as compared to base-of-support disturbances (trips, slips, and stumbles). Therapy that includes Wii Fit activities like Ski Jump can be used to increase awareness of center-of-mass and improve control and voluntary engagement of muscles required in weight shifting. Through my experience, the elders seem to enjoy Wii activities. The video game format and the Miis that they can create, encourage them to invest a bit more in their therapy than traditional, repetitive therapeutic activities. Based on knowledge gained through this study on causes of falls, elders would benefit from targeted programs that promote more control of center-of-mass.

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