Video game play (Dance Dance Revolution) as a potential exercise therapy in Huntington's disease: a controlled clinical trial

Clin Rehabil. 2013 Nov;27(11):972-82. doi: 10.1177/0269215513487235. Epub 2013 Jun 20.


Objective: To investigate the feasibility, acceptability, and safety of a supervised video game exercise program administered via Dance Dance Revolution in individuals with Huntington's disease.

Design: A cross-over, controlled, single-blinded, six-week trial.

Setting: Home-based.

Participants: Eighteen ambulatory individuals with Huntington's disease (seven male, mean age 50.7 SD 14.7).

Interventions: Participants played the Dance Dance Revolution game with supervision and the handheld game without supervision for 45 minutes, two days per week for six weeks.

Outcome measures: Game play performance and adherence, participant perceptions of the game, safety (vital signs, adverse health changes), spatiotemporal gait measures, Four-Square Step Test, Tinetti Mobility Test, Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale, and World Health Organization Quality of Life - Bref, before and after each intervention.

Results: Most participants improved on game play, enjoyed playing the game, and wanted to continue playing after study completion. After playing Dance Dance Revolution, participants showed significant reductions in double support percentage (adjusted mean difference (95% confidence intervals): -2.54% (-4.75, -0.34) for forward walking and -4.18 (-6.89, -0.48) for backward walking) and those with less severe motor symptoms had reductions in heel-to-heel base of support during forward walking. The remaining measures were not significantly impacted by the intervention.

Conclusion: Dance Dance Revolution appears to be a feasible, motivating, and safe exercise intervention for individuals with Huntington's disease.

Keywords: Huntington’s disease; balance; exercise; gait; video game play.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dance Therapy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Postural Balance
  • Quality of Life
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Video Games*
  • Young Adult