The effect of interactive computer play on balance and functional abilities in children with moderate cerebral palsy: a pilot randomized study

Clin Rehabil. 2019 Apr;33(4):704-710. doi: 10.1177/0269215518821714. Epub 2019 Jan 2.


Objectives:: To investigate the feasibility and potential efficacy of a six-week interactive computer play training on balance and gross motor function in children with moderate cerebral palsy.

Design:: A pilot single-blinded matched randomized controlled study.

Setting:: Community.

Participants:: In total, 18 children with moderate cerebral palsy were recruited, paired according to age and severity of cerebral palsy and randomized into intervention group or control group.

Intervention:: The intervention group received additional trunk control training using the interactive computer play in sitting four times per week, 20 minutes per session for six weeks. All study children continued their usual physiotherapy programme.

Measurements:: All study children were assessed at baseline, week 3, week 6 (completion of intervention) and week 12 using the Pediatric Reach Test, Gross Motor Function Measure-66-Item Set and 2-Minute Walk Test.

Results:: All intervention children completed and enjoyed the training with no reported adverse event. All children were assessed at all time points. No significant difference was found between the two groups in all assessments. In both groups of children, significant improvements were found in the Gross Motor Function Measure-66-Item Set between week 3 (intervention group: mean 53.41, SD 5.34; control group: mean 52.86, SD 8.33) and week 6 (intervention group: mean 55.00, SD 6.32; control group: mean 54.20, SD 8.35).

Conclusion:: The intervention protocol of a six-week interactive computer play training was feasible and safe for children with moderate cerebral palsy in special school settings. Future studies with larger sample sizes or using single-subject designs are recommended.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy; balance; gross motor function; interactive computer game; postural control.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills Disorders / physiopathology
  • Motor Skills Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Video Games*