Home > Journals > European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine > Past Issues > European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2015 December;51(6) > European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2015 December;51(6):669-76

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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2015 December;51(6):669-76

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Video-game based therapy performed by children with cerebral palsy: a cross-over randomized controlled trial and a cross-sectional quantitative measure of physical activity

Zoccolillo L. 1, Morelli D. 1, Cincotti F. 2, Muzzioli L. 2, 3, Gobbetti T. 1, Paolucci S. 4, Iosa M. 4

1 Department of Child Neurorehabilitation, I.R.C.C.S. Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy; 2 Laboratory of Neuroelectrical Imaging, I.R.C.C.S. Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy; 3 Clinical and Research Movement Analysis Laboratory ‑ CaRMA Lab, I.R.C.C.S. Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy; 4 Clinical Laboratory of Experimental Neurorehabilitation, I.R.C.C.S. Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy


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BACKGROUND: Previous studies reported controversial results about the efficacy of video-game based therapy (VGT) in improving neurorehabilitation outcomes in children with cerebral palsy (CP).
AIM: Primary aim was to investigate the effectiveness of VGT with respect to conventional therapy (CT) in improving upper limb motor outcomes in a group of children with CP. Secondary aim was to quantify if VGT leads children to perform a higher number of movements.
DESIGN: A cross-over randomized controlled trial (RCT) for investigating the primary aim and a cross-sectional study for investigating the secondary aim of this study.
SETTINGS: Outpatients.
POPULATION: Inclusion criteria: clinical diagnosis of CP, age between 4 and 14 years, level of GMFC between I and IV. Exclusion criteria: QI<35, severe comorbidities, incapacity to stand even with an external support.
METHODS: Twenty-two children with CP (6.89±1.91-year old) were enrolled in a cross-over RCT with 16 sessions of VGT (using Xbox with Kinect device) and then 16 of CT or vice versa. Upper limb functioning was assessed using the Quality of Upper Extremities Skills Test (QUEST) and hand abilities using Abilhand-kids score. According to the secondary aim of this study a secondary cross-sectional study has been performed. Eight children with CP (6.50±1.60-year old) were enrolled into a trial in which five wireless triaxial accelerometers were positioned on their forearms, legs and trunk for quantifying the physical activity during VGT vs. CT.
RESULTS: QUEST scores significantly improved only after VGT (P=0.003), and not after CT (P=0.056). The reverse occurred for Abilhand-kids scores (P=0.165 vs. P=0.013, respectively). Quantity of performed movements was three times higher in VGT than in CT (+198%, P=0.027).
CONCLUSION: VGT resulted effective in improving the motor functions of upper limb extremities in children with CP, conceivably for the increased quantity of limb movements, but failed in improving the manual abilities for performing activities of daily living which benefited more from CT.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: VGT performed using the X-Box with Kinect device could enhance the number of upper limb movements in children with CP during rehabilitation and in turn improving upper limb motor skills, but CT remained superior for improving performances in manual activities of daily living.

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