The role of exergaming in Parkinson's disease rehabilitation: a systematic review of the evidence
Exercise is well established in improvement of motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, implementing daily exercise remains challenging in terms of adherence, acceptability, access and cost. What about turning the popular Wii into a rehabilitation tool for the lounge? Exergaming! This systematic review of the exergaming literature establishes safety, feasibility and effectiveness of exergaming; 7 articles were included.
Safety: Participant safety (falls or near falls) was not measured in any of the studies.
Feasibility: Participants were able to play exergames, improve their performance of gameplay and enjoyed playing. However, most patients had mild symptoms only; fast and complex games are not feasible in advanced PD. The authors offer recommendations for future game designs.
Effectiveness: The only randomised controlled trial showed that exergaming was as effective as traditional balance training for people with PD to improve motor symptoms (UPDRS II), balance (Berg Balance Scale) and cognition (MoCA), with improvements in both groups retained 60 days after the training ended.
Take home message: Playing balance and obstacle games on the Nintendo Wii and XBox Kinect is a valuable addition to rehabilitation of patients with mild PD. > From: 2014 Barry et al., J Neuroeng Rehabil 11 (2014) 33. All rights reserved to BioMed Central Ltd.
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