Interactive somatosensory games in rehabilitation training for older adults with mild cognitive impairment: usability study

Chien-Hsiang Chang, Chung-Hsing Yeh, Chien-Cheng Chang, Yang-Cheng Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In aging societies, dementia risk increases with advancing age, increasing the incidence of dementia-related degenerative diseases and other complications, especially fall risk. Dementia also escalates the care burden, impacting patients, their families, social welfare institutions, and the social structure and medical system. Objective: In elderly dementia, traditional card recognition rehabilitation (TCRR) does not effectively increase one's autonomy. Therefore, from the usability perspective, we used the Tetris game as a reference to develop an interactive somatosensory game rehabilitation (ISGR) with nostalgic style for elders with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Through intuitive gesture-controlled interactive games, we evaluated subjective feelings concerning somatosensory game integration into rehabilitation to explore whether the ISGR could improve the willingness to use and motivation for rehabilitation among elders with MCI. Methods: A total of 15 elders with MCI (7 males and 8 females with an average age of 78.4 years) underwent 2 experiments for 15 minutes. During experiment 1, TCRR was performed, followed by completing the questionnaire of the System Usability Scale (SUS). After 3-5 minutes, the second experiment (the ISGR) was conducted, followed by completing another SUS. We used SUS to explore differences in impacts of TCRR and ISGR on willingness to use among elders with MCI. In addition, we further investigated whether the factor of gender or prior rehabilitation experience would affect the rehabilitation willingness or not. Results: The novel ISGR made the elderly feel interested and improved their willingness for continuous rehabilitation. According to the overall SUS score, the ISGR had better overall usability performance (73.7) than the TCRR (58.0) (t28=-4.62, P < .001). Furthermore, the ISGR individual item scores of “Willingness to Use” (t28=-8.27, P < .001), “Easy to Use” (t28=-3.17, P < .001), “System Integration” (t28=-5.07, P < .001), and “Easy to Learn” (t28=-2.81, P < .001) were better than TCRR. The somatosensory game was easier to learn and master for females than for males (t13=2.71, P = .02). Besides, the ISGR was easier to use (t12=-2.50, P = .02) and learn (t14=-3.33, P < .001) for those without prior rehabilitation experience. The result indicates that for elders with no rehabilitation experience ISGR was easier to use and simpler to learn than TCRR. Conclusions: Regardless of prior rehabilitation experience, the ISGR developed in this study was easy to learn and effective in continuously improving willingness to use. Furthermore, the adoption of a nostalgic game design style served the function of cognitive training and escalated interest in rehabilitation. The ISGR also improved user stickiness by introducing different game scenarios and difficulties, increasing long-term interest and motivation for rehabilitation. For future research on the adoption of interactive somatosensory games in rehabilitation, additional rehabilitation movements can be developed to benefit the elderly with MCI.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere38465
Number of pages18
JournalJMIR Serious Games
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2022


  • card recognition rehabilitation
  • dementia
  • elderly
  • gesture recognition
  • interactive somatosensory game
  • usability

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