Background: Stroke is the most common neurological disease in the world. After the stroke, some people suffer a cognitive disability. Commercial videogames have been used after stroke for physical rehabilitation; however, their use in cognitive rehabilitation has hardly been studied. The objectives of this study were to analyze attention, processing speed, and working memory in patients with moderate stroke after an intervention with Wii Sports Resort and compared these results with a control group.
Methods: A pre-post design study was conducted with 30 moderate stroke patients aged 65 ± 15. The study lasted eight weeks. 15 participated in the intervention group and 15 belong to the control group. They were assessed in attention and processing speed (TMT-A and B) and working memory (Digit Span of WAIS-III). Parametric and effect size tests were used to analyze the improvement of those outcomes and compared both groups.
Results: At the baseline, there was no difference between TMT-A and B. A difference was found in the scalar score of TMT-B, as well as in Digit Backward Span and Total Digit Task. In TMT-A and B, the intervention group had better scores than the control group. The intervention group in the Digit Forward Span and the Total Digit obtained a moderate effect size and the control group also obtained a moderate effect size in Total Digit. In the Digit scalar scores, the control group achieved better results than the intervention group.
Conclusions: The results on attention, processing speed and working memory improved in both groups. However, according to the effect sizes, the intervention group achieved better results than the control group. In addition, the attention and processing speed improved more than the working memory after the intervention. Although more studies are needed in this area, the results are encouraging for cognitive rehabilitation after stroke.
Keywords: Attention; Cognition; Moderate stroke; Nintendo Wii sports resort; Processing speed; Working memory.