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Balance and mobility training at home using Wii Fit in children with cerebral palsy: a feasibility study

15 May 2018

Objectives

To investigate whether balance and mobility training at home using Wii Fit is feasible and can provide clinical benefits.

Design

Single-group, pre–post intervention study.

Setting

Participants’ home.

Participants

20 children with cerebral palsy (6–12 years).

Intervention

Participants undertook 8 weeks of home-based Wii Fit training in addition to usual care.

Main measures

Feasibility was determined by adherence, performance, acceptability and safety. Clinical outcomes were strength, balance, mobility and participation measured at baseline (preintervention) and 8 weeks (postintervention).

Results

The training was feasible with 99% of training completed; performance on all games improved; parents understood the training (4/5), it did not interfere in life (3.8/5), was challenging (3.9/5) and would recommend it (3.9/5); and there were no injurious falls. Strength increased in dorsiflexors (Mean Difference (MD) 2.2 N m, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.2, p<0.001), plantarflexors (MD 2.2 N m, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.1, p<0.001) and quadriceps (MD 7.8 N m, 95% CI 5.2 to 10.5, p<0.001). Preferred walking speed increased (MD 0.25 m/s, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.41, p<0.01), fast speed increased (MD 0.24 m/s, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.35, p<0.001) and distance over 6 min increased (MD 28 m, 95% CI 10 to 45, p<0.01). Independence in participation increased (MD 1.4 out of 40, 95% CI 0.0 to 2.8, p=0.04).

Conclusions

Balance and mobility training at home using Wii Fit was feasible and safe and has the potential to improve strength and mobility, suggesting that a randomised trial is warranted.

Trial registration number

ACTRN12616001362482.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open