Cerebral palsy is a collection of disorders that involve a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Doctors can not currently cure cerebral palsy, but treatment can reduce symptoms and increase function.
Research has shown that therapy using the Nintendo® Wii Balance Board can lead to improvements in balance for children who have cerebral palsy.
Results of the study
Researchers from the University of Jaén in Andalusia, Spain studied data from 11 trials that included 270 children who have cerebral palsy. They discovered that there was low-quality evidence that Nintendo® Wii therapy has a substantial impact on the functional balance of participants when compared to patients receiving no treatment and moderate-quality evidence of benefits versus traditional physical therapy. Additionally, they discovered very low-quality evidence of a medium effect on dynamic balance for combining Nintendo® Wii therapy with traditional physical therapy versus traditional physical therapy alone.
Researchers determined that the results suggest that Nintendo® Wii therapy could be a helpful option for neurorehabilitation physiotherapy to treat children with balance issues due to cerebral palsy. Additionally, they suggested that this type of therapy increases motivation and adherence because it is active, multi-sensory and playful. It is also an inexpensive option that is suitable for home use.
Because physical therapy can be tedious for patients and particularly so for children, game-based interventions, such as Nintendo® Wii therapy show promise as methods that can keep kids interested, while also providing health benefits. Researches may require further study to conclusively determine the potential benefit of this and other virtual reality therapies.