The efficacy of balance training with video game-based therapy in subacute stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:580861. doi: 10.1155/2014/580861. Epub 2014 May 5.


The video game-based therapy emerged as a potential valid tool in improving balance in several neurological conditions with controversial results, whereas little information is available regarding the use of this therapy in subacute stroke patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of balance training using video game-based intervention on functional balance and disability in individuals with hemiparesis due to stroke in subacute phase. Fifty adult stroke patients participated to the study: 25 subjects were randomly assigned to balance training with Wii Fit, and the other 25 subjects were assigned to usual balance therapy. Both groups were also treated with conventional physical therapy (40 min 2 times/day). The main outcome was functional balance (Berg Balance Scale-BBS), and secondary outcomes were disability (Barthel Index-BI), walking ability (Functional Ambulation Category), and walking speed (10-meters walking test). Wii Fit training was more effective than usual balance therapy in improving balance (BBS: 53 versus 48, P = 0.004) and independency in activity of daily living (BI: 98 versus 93, P = 0.021). A balance training performed with a Wii Fit as an add on to the conventional therapy was found to be more effective than conventional therapy alone in improving balance and reducing disability in patients with subacute stroke.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Postural Balance*
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Video Games*