Video Games a Good Supplement to Physical Therapy for ICU Patients

October 3, 2011 -

New research published online in the Journal of Critical Care from Johns Hopkins researchers claims that video games are a good supplement to traditional physical therapy for patients in intensive care units (ICU).

"Patients admitted to our medical intensive care unit are very sick and, despite early physical therapy, still experience problems with muscle weakness, balance and coordination as they recover,” says study lead Michelle E. Kho, P.T., Ph.D, assistant professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins. "We are always looking for creative ways to improve rehabilitation care for critically ill patients, and our study suggests that interactive video games may be a helpful addition."

Johns Hopkins researchers selected 22 critically ill adult patients to use video games over a one-year period as part of routine physical therapy. These patients were also part of a group of 410 patients who received standard early physical therapy in the medical ICU during the same time frame from Hopkins’ physical therapists. The patients in the study were mostly males 32 - 64 years-old and were admitted to the medical ICU due to such health problems as respiratory failure, sepsis, and cardiovascular issues.

Over the one-year period, the 22 patients participated in 42 physical therapy sessions using Wii Fit and Wii Sports. Almost half of the 20-minute sessions included patients who were mechanically ventilated. Participants played boxing, bowling and games that made use of the balance board. The physical therapists chose the activities primarily to improve patients’ stamina and balance.

"As always, patient safety was a top priority, given that healthy people playing video games may be injured during routine gaming, but when properly selected and supervised by experienced ICU physical therapists, patients enjoyed the challenge of the video games and welcomed the change from their physical therapy routines," says senior author, Dale M. Needham, M.D. ,Ph.D., associate professor and medical director of the Critical Care Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Program at Johns Hopkins.

Needham added that video game therapy activities were short in duration because the timing was ideal for severely deconditioned patients, and cost less than most ICU medical equipment. As an addition to regular physical therapy, the video games helped boost patients’ interest in therapy and motivation to do more of it. While the results were good, researchers cautioned that even more research is needed to determine whether the video games improve patients’ abilities to do the tasks that are the most important to them.

"Our study had limitations because the patients were not randomly selected, the video game sessions were infrequent and the number of patients was small," Kho noted. "Our next step is to study what physical therapy goals best benefit from video games."

You can learn more about John Hopkins research at www.hopkinsmedicine.org.

Image provided by Shutterstock.com. All rights reserved.


Comments

Re: Video Games a Good Supplement to Physical Therapy for ...

John Hopkins? What do those ignoramuses know?

Get a credible source like the Mayo.

Re: Video Games a Good Supplement to Physical Therapy for ...

They might have wanted to elaborate on what kind of physical therapy they were talking about in the title. As someone who has suffered two broken legs, a DDR machine might not be ideal. ^_^;

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician