Friday, 11 November 2011

Video Games Help ICU Patients With Physical Therapy

October 11, 2011

Video Games Help ICU Patients With Physical Therapy,

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Interactive video games on consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit can enhance physical therapy for patients in intensive care units, according to a study published in the Journal of Critical Care, United Press International reports.

For the one-year study, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine evaluated 22 patients ages 32 to 64 who were admitted to the hospital for cardiovascular disease, respiratory failure, sepsis or other health issues (United Press International, 10/8).

The patients participated in 42 physical therapy sessions that included 20 minutes of playing interactive video games featuring boxing, bowling, balance boards and other activities aimed at improving stamina and balance (Walker, "Picture of Health," Baltimore Sun, 10/3).

Study Findings
Researchers found that the interactive video games increased patients' interest in physical therapy (Galbraith, Examiner, 10/4). Dale Needham, senior author of the study, said, "[W]hen properly selected and supervised by experienced physical therapists, patients enjoyed the challenge of the video games and welcomed the change from their physical therapy routines" (United Press International, 10/8).

Needham added that video games are cost effective compared with other physical therapies used in ICUs. Michelle Kho, study leader, said additional research is needed to determine "what physical therapy goals best benefit from video games" (Examiner, 10/4)

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