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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2017 August;53(4):535-44

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.16.04447-6

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Does Nintendo Wii Balance Board improve standing balance? A randomized controlled trial in children with cerebral palsy

Valeska GATICA-ROJAS 1 , Guillermo MÉNDEZ-REBOLLEDO 2, Eduardo GUZMAN-MUÑOZ 3, Alex SOTO-POBLETE 4, Ricardo CARTES-VELÁSQUEZ 5, Edith ELGUETA-CANCINO 6, L. Eduardo COFRÉ LIZAMA 7

1 Human Motor Control Laboratory, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Talca, Talca, Chile; 2 Human Motor Control Laboratory, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Talca, Talca, Chile; 3 School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health, University of Santo Tomás, Talca, Chile; 4 Institute of Mathematics and Physics, University of Talca, Talca, Chile; 5 School of Dentistry, University of Concepción, Concepción, Chile; 6 Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; 7 Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


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BACKGROUND: Evidence on the effect of systemic exercise programs to improve the standing balance with the Nintendo Wii system is very limited and its post-treatment effectiveness is unknown in cerebral palsy (CP) patients.
AIM: Primary aim was to compare the effect of Nintendo Wii balance board (Wii-therapy) and standard physiotherapy (SPT), on the performance of standing balance in children and adolescents with CP. Secondary aim was to determine the post-treatment effectiveness of Wii-therapy and SPT.
DESIGN: Two-arm, matched-pairs, parallel-groups, randomized, controlled clinical trial.
SETTING: Outpatient Rehabilitation Centre in the city of Talca.
POPULATION: Patients with CP type spastic hemiplegia (SHE) and spastic diplegia (SDI), aged 7 to 14 years, and level I or II of GMFCS or GMFCS-ER. Were excluded patients with FSIQ<80, epilepsy, previous surgeries and application of Botulinum Toxin-A in the lower limb, uncorrected vision and hearing disorders.
METHODS: Thirty-two CP patients (10.7±3.2 years old) were randomly assigned to either Wii-therapy (SDI=7; SHE=9) or SPT intervention (SDI=7; SHE=9). In each group, patients received three sessions per week over a period of 6 weeks. Standing balance was assessed at baseline and every 2 weeks. Additionally, two follow-up assessments (4 additional weeks) were performed to determine post-treatment effectiveness. Standing balance was quantified on force platform obtaining the outcomes area of center-of-pressure (CoP) sway (CoPSway), standard deviation in the medial-lateral (SDML) and the anterior-posterior (SDAP) directions, and velocity in both directions (VML and VAP).
RESULTS: Compared to SPT, Wii-therapy significantly reduced the CoPSway (P=0.02) and SDAP in the eyes-open condition (P=0.01). However, the effects wane after 2-4 weeks. Post-hoc analysis revealed that only SHE children benefited from Wii-therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Wii-therapy was better than SPT in improving standing balance in patients with CP, but improves the balance only in SHE patients. Also, Wii-therapy effectiveness waned 2-4 weeks after the end the intervention.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: A systematic exercise program like Wii-therapy using the Nintendo Wii Balance Board device can be considered to improves the standing balance in patients with CP, specifically in the SHE type. This program is easy to transfer to physiotherapists and rehabilitation centers.


KEY WORDS: Cerebral palsy - Postural balance - Child - Virtual reality exposure

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Publication History

Issue published online: August 30, 2017
Article first published online: November 24, 2016
Manuscript accepted: November 22, 2016
Manuscript revised: November 16, 2016
Manuscript received: August 3, 2016

Cite this article as

Gatica-Rojas V, Méndez-Rebolledo G, Guzman-Muñoz E, Soto-Poblete A, Cartes-Velásquez R, Elgueta-Cancino E, et al. Does Nintendo Wii Balance Board improve standing balance? A randomized controlled trial in children with cerebral palsy. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017;53:535-44. DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.16.04447-6

Corresponding author e-mail

vgatica@utalca.cl