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Effects of Game-based Balance Exercise for Older Adults With Fall History

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
University of Manitoba Identifier:
First received: June 20, 2011
Last updated: June 22, 2011
Last verified: March 2007

Due to the many problems associated with reduced balance and mobility, providing an effective and engaging rehabilitation regimen is essential to progress recovery from impairments and to help prevent further degradation of motor skills. The purpose was to examine effects of physical therapy based on the task-oriented approach delivered in an engaging, interactive video game paradigm. The intervention focused on performing targeted dynamic tasks, which included reactive balance controls and environmental interaction. Thirty community dwelling and ambulatory older adults attending the Day hospital for balance and mobility limitation treatment participated in this study. Participants were randomly assigned to either a control group or experimental group. The control group received the typical rehabilitation program provided at the Day Hospital, consisting of strengthening and balance exercises. The experimental group received a program of dynamic balance exercises coupled to video game play, using a centre of pressure (COP) position signal as the computer mouse. The tasks were performed while standing on a fixed floor surface with progression to a compliant sponge pad. Each group received 16 sessions, scheduled two per week, each lasting 45 minutes. Balance performance measures and spatial-temporal gait variables were obtained pre- and post-treatment Findings demonstrated significant improvements for both groups in balance performance scores post-treatment, and change scores were significantly greater in the experimental compared to control group. No significant treatment effect was observed in either group for the spatial-temporal gait variables. In conclusion dynamic balance exercises on fixed and compliant sponge surfaces were feasibly coupled to interactive game-based exercise. This in turn resulted in a greater improvement in dynamic standing balance control compared to the typical exercise program. However there was no transfer of effect to gait function.

Key Words: Balance, Postural; Rehabilitation; Therapy, computer-assisted; Video Games; Center of Pressure.

Condition Intervention Phase
Mobility Limitation
Behavioral: game-based balance exercises
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Full Title Interactive Computer Game Exercise Regime, Effects on Balance Impairment in Frail Community-Dwelling Older Adults. A Randomized Controlled Trial

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Manitoba:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Standing Balance [ Time Frame: 5 weeks ]
    timed performance and ordinal scales

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Gait speed [ Time Frame: 5 weeks ]
  • Spatial-temporal gait variables [ Time Frame: 5 weeks ]
    distance and time

Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: August 2007
Study Completion Date: August 2008
Primary Completion Date: August 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Intervention Details:
    Behavioral: game-based balance exercises
    16 sessions, scheduled two per week, each lasting 45 minutes.

Ages Eligible for Study:   65 Years to 85 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • age: 65-85 years
  • Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score > 24
  • English-speaking with the ability to understand the nature of the study and provide informed consent
  • independent in ambulatory functions, with or without an assistive device (cane or walker).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • any medical condition or disability that prevented participation in an exercise program.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01381237

Canada, Manitoba
Riverview Health Centre
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3L2P4
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Manitoba
Principal Investigator: Tony Szturm, BSc(PT), PhD University of Manitoba
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Dr. Tony Szturm, Associate Professor, Dept. of Physical Therapy, University of Manitoba Identifier: NCT01381237     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: H2007-047
Study First Received: June 20, 2011
Last Updated: June 22, 2011

Keywords provided by University of Manitoba:
Video Games
Center of Pressure

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Mobility Limitation
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on April 28, 2017