The effects of the Nintendo™ Wii Fit on gait, balance, and quality of life in individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury.J Spinal Cord Med. 2015 Nov; 38(6):777-83.JS
To assess the effects of virtual reality using the NintendoTM Wii Fit on balance, gait, and quality of life in ambulatory individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI).
There is a need for continued research to support effective treatment techniques in individuals with iSCI to maximize each individual's potential functional performance.
Five males with a mean age of 58.6 years who had an iSCI and were greater than one-year post injury.
An interrupted time series design with three pre-tests over three weeks, a post-test within one week of the intervention, and a four-week follow up. Outcome measures: gait speed, timed up and go (TUG), forward functional reach test (FFRT) and lateral functional reach test (LFRT), RAND SF-36. Intervention consisted of one-hour sessions with varied games using the Nintendo Wii Fit twice per week for seven weeks. Survey data was also collected at post-test. Results There were statistically significant changes found in gait speed and functional reach. The changes were also maintained at the four-week follow up post-test. Survey reports suggested improvements in balance, endurance, and mobility with daily tasks at home.
All subjects who participated in training with the NintendoTM Wii Fit demonstrated statistically significant improvements in gait speed and functional reach after seven weeks of training. Given the potential positive impact that the NintendoTM Wii Fit has on functional reach and gait speed in patients with iSCI, physical therapists may want to incorporate these activities as part of a rehabilitation program.