Objectives: To explore the possibility of using the Nintendo Wii™ as a rehabilitation tool for children with cerebral palsy (CP) in a developing country, and determine whether there is potential for an impact on their gross motor function.
Design: Pilot study with a pre-post-test design.
Setting: Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Center, Jamaica, West Indies.
Participants: Seven children, aged 6 to 12 years, with dyskinetic CP were recruited for the study. One child dropped out at week 4.
Intervention: Training with the Nintendo Wii was conducted twice weekly for 6 weeks. The games used were Wii Sports Boxing, Baseball and Tennis.
Main outcome measures: Percentage attendance over the 6-week period, percentage of sessions for which the full duration of training was completed, and changes in gross motor function using the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM).
Results: All six participants who completed the study had 100% attendance, and all were able to complete the full 45 minutes of training at every session. Those who were wheelchair bound participated in two games, whilst those who were ambulant played three games. The mean GMFM score increased from 62.83 [standard deviation (SD) 24.86] to 70.17 (SD 23.67).
Conclusion: The Nintendo Wii has the potential for use as a rehabilitation tool in the management of children with CP. Clinical trials should be conducted in this area to determine whether this could be an effective tool for improving gross motor function.
Copyright © 2012 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.