Feasibility and Efficacy of the Nintendo Wii Gaming System to Improve Balance Performance Post-Stroke: Protocol of a Phase II Randomized Controlled Trial in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Setting

Kelly J. Bower, Ross A. Clark, Jennifer L. McGinley, Clarissa L. Martin, Kimberly J. Miller

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    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Balance deficits following stroke are common and debilitating. Commercially available gaming systems, such as the Nintendo® (Kyoto, Japan) Wii™, have been widely adopted clinically; however, there is limited evidence supporting their feasibility and efficacy for improving balance performance following stroke. The aim of this trial is to investigate the clinical feasibility and efficacy of using the Nintendo Wii gaming system as an adjunct to standard care to improve balance performance following stroke in an inpatient rehabilitation setting. Subjects and Methods: Thirty participants undergoing inpatient stroke rehabilitation will be recruited into this Phase II, single-blind, randomized controlled trial. Participants will be allocated into a Balance or Upper Limb Group, and both groups will perform activities using the Nintendo Wii in addition to their standard care. Participants will attend three 45-minute sessions per week, for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 weeks. Results: The main focus of the study is to investigate the feasibility of the intervention protocol. This will be evaluated through recruitment, retention, adherence, acceptability, and safety. The Step Test and Functional Reach Test will be the primary efficacy outcomes. Secondary outcomes will include force platform, mobility, and upper limb measures. Assessments will occur at baseline, 2 weeks, and 4 weeks after study entry. Discussion: To the authors' knowledge, this will be the largest randomized clinical trial to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of the Nintendo Wii gaming system for improving balance performance in a stroke population. The results will inform the design of a Phase III multicenter trial.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-108
    Number of pages6
    JournalGames for Health Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013

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