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Nintendo Wii Therapy Benefits Children With Cerebral Palsy

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Key Takeaways

  • Nintendo Wii balance board therapy is beneficial for functional balance in children with cerebral palsy.
  • The researchers found very low-quality evidence with a large effect of NWT on functional balance compared with no intervention and moderate-quality evidence for NWT plus conventional physical therapy (CPT) vs CPT in sessions of about 30 minutes and interventions with a duration exceeding 3 weeks.
  • There was very low-quality evidence for a medium effect for dynamic balance with use of NWT plus CPT vs CPT alone.

HealthDay News–Nintendo Wii balance board therapy (NWT) is beneficial for functional balance in children with cerebral palsy (CP), according to a review published in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.

Desirée Montoro-Cárdenas, from the University of Jaén in Spain, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials with 270 children to examine the effect of NWT on functional, dynamic, and static balance in children with CP.

The researchers found very low-quality evidence with a large effect of NWT on functional balance compared with no intervention (Cohen’s standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.02 to 1.89) and moderate-quality evidence for NWT plus conventional physical therapy (CPT) vs CPT (SMD, 0.78; 95%CI, 0.20 to 1.35) in sessions of about 30 minutes (SMD, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.20 to 1.52) and interventions with a duration exceeding 3 weeks (SMD, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.47). There was very low-quality evidence for a medium effect for dynamic balance with use of NWT plus CPT vs CPT alone (SMD, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.12 to 1.29).

“Nintendo® Wii therapy may be a useful tool that can be included in neurorehabilitation physiotherapy protocols to improve balance in children with cerebral palsy,” a coauthor said in a statement. “It is a low-cost tool that can be used at home for therapeutic purposes, a fact that is of great relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Abstract/Full Text

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