Vestibular rehabilitation using the Nintendo® Wii Balance Board -- a user-friendly alternative for central nervous compensation

Acta Otolaryngol. 2013 Mar;133(3):239-45. doi: 10.3109/00016489.2012.732707. Epub 2012 Nov 6.


Conclusion: The Nintendo® Wii Balance Board is a cost-effective and user-friendly alternative to other popular frequently used systems that aid vestibular compensation, particularly in elderly patients. In addition, further treatment in the home environment is possible.

Objective: This cohort study was designed to investigate the impact of the Nintendo® Wii Balance Board as a visual compensation device after acute vestibular neuritis.

Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups. Group A (n = 37) performed customized exercises with the Nintendo® Wii Balance Board. Group B (n = 34) performed only two elected exercises as a control group for comparison of the results. Both groups underwent additive therapy with steroids (intravenous) in decreasing doses (250 mg decreasing to 25 mg over 10 days). The Sensory Organization Test (SOT), Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), Vertigo Symptom Scale (VSS), and Tinneti questionnaire were evaluated immediately before treatment (baseline), at the end of treatment, i.e. at day 5, and after 10 weeks.

Results: The early use of a visual feedback system in the context of the balance training supports the central nervous vestibular compensation after peripheral labyrinthine disorders. Patients in group B (without training) required a longer in-patient stay (average 2.4 days, SD 0.4) compared with patients following early Wii rehabilitation. The absence of nystagmus under Frenzel's goggles in group A was observed 2.1 days (SD 0.5) earlier than in group B. Group A showed significantly better results in the SOT, DHI, VSS, and Tinneti questionnaire at all time points measured (p < 0.05).

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Male
  • Meniere Disease / economics
  • Meniere Disease / physiopathology
  • Meniere Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / economics
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / instrumentation*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / economics
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • User-Computer Interface*
  • Vestibular Neuronitis / economics
  • Vestibular Neuronitis / physiopathology
  • Vestibular Neuronitis / rehabilitation*
  • Video Games* / economics


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones