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Exercising With Computers in Later Life (EXCELL)

This study has been completed.
British Geriatrics Society
Information provided by:
NHS Grampian Identifier:
First received: March 4, 2010
Last updated: NA
Last verified: June 2009
History: No changes posted
This is a pilot study to assess whether balance training with the Nintendo® Wii is comparable to a physiotherapist−led falls group in terms of improvement in balance. The acceptability of the Nintendo® Wii will also be assessed.

Accidental Falls

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Exercising With Computers in Later Life (EXCELL) - Pilot and Feasibility Study of the Nintendo® WiiFit in Community-dwelling Fallers

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by NHS Grampian:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Improvement in formal balance score [ Time Frame: 4 weeks and 12 weeks following the exercise intervention ]
    Berg and Tinetti balance scores

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Acceptability of the Nintendo WiiFit in community-dwelling older fallers [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Individual interview and completion of the Attitudes to Falls-Related Interventions Scale (AFRIS)

  • Participants degree of concern about falling in certain situations following the intervention [ Time Frame: 4 weeks and 12 weeks ]
    Falls Efficacy Scale - International (FES-I)

Enrollment: 21
Study Start Date: January 2009
Study Completion Date: June 2009
Primary Completion Date: June 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Standard Care
Individuals who attended the local falls group
Intervention group
Individuals who undertook the 12 week exercise (Nintendo WiiFit) intervention

Detailed Description:

The population is ageing and as a result medical staff and allied health professionals are likely to see an increase in the number of patients with falls. Community dwelling individuals over 65 fall at a rate of 30% per year. This risk increases with advancing age. Falls have significant consequences for both the individual and the population as a whole. Falls risk increases with age due to increased body sway, a reduction in reaction times, deterioration in the efficiency of the walking pattern and diminished balance.

People who fall should be referred for multidisciplinary falls assessment. Locally, patients are assessed by the multidisciplinary team and, if appropriate, attend falls group. This group consists of a 12 week exercise program to improve balance and muscle strength (patients attend the group up to 3 times weekly). Previously trials have shown variable compliance with exercise programs but locally compliance is felt to be good. Falls groups aim to reduce falls through the benefits of exercise; improvement in muscle strength,balance, general fitness and well being. It has been shown that exercise has statistically significant beneficial effects on balance.

Due to advances in technology, equipment has been produced to improve balance on both the medical and commercial market. There is a large variability in cost between this equipment with commercial prices being much lower. The Wii has been very successful in encouraging sedentary youths to partake in exercise (all be it in a limited form). WiiFit is a specifically designed "game" for the Wii to improve balance with an element of entertainment value.

This project is important due the large number of falls that occur in the community and the significant impact this has on an under resourced NHS. It is timely because the WiiFit has only just been introduced into the market. Through the use of a Wii, balance training may be more enjoyable and as a result elderly community dwellers may be more likely to participate in exercise programmes. The Wii is considerably cheaper than the medical alternatives and if an improvement can be shown in post−intervention balance assessments, then we have to consider whether the use of similar equipment should be instituted in falls groups.


Ages Eligible for Study:   70 Years and older   (Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population

Standard Care: The standard care group was recruited from the local falls group that is run from the local Medicine for the Elderly Department.

Intevention Group: Participants were recruited following a publicity campaign.


Inclusion Criteria:

  • age 70 years or older
  • living locally in the community (in either sheltered accommodation or own home
  • fallen at least once in the preceding 12 months
  • abbreviated mental test (AMT) of seven or over

Exclusion Criteria:

  • wheelchair bound
  • people living in a care home or long-term hospital care.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01082042

United Kingdom
Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Woodend Hospital
Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, AB15 6XS
Sponsors and Collaborators
NHS Grampian
British Geriatrics Society
Principal Investigator: Marie A Williams, MBChB NHS Grampian
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Dr Marie Williams, NHS Grampian Identifier: NCT01082042     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: BGS05/2008
Study First Received: March 4, 2010
Last Updated: March 4, 2010

Keywords provided by NHS Grampian:
Balance, postural
Aged, over 70
Accidental falls processed this record on April 24, 2017