Using commercial video games for upper limb stroke rehabilitation: is this the way of the future?

Pietrzak, Eva, Cotea, Cristina and Pullman, Stephen (2014) Using commercial video games for upper limb stroke rehabilitation: is this the way of the future?. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 21 2: 152-162. doi:10.1310/tsr2102-152

Author Pietrzak, Eva
Cotea, Cristina
Pullman, Stephen
Title Using commercial video games for upper limb stroke rehabilitation: is this the way of the future?
Journal name Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1945-5119
Publication date 2014-03-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1310/tsr2102-152
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 21
Issue 2
Start page 152
End page 162
Total pages 11
Place of publication Leeds, W Yorks, United Kingdom
Publisher Maney Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The increasing number of people living with poststroke sequelae has stimulated the search for novel ways of providing poststroke rehabilitation without putting additional stress on overburdened health care systems. One of them is the use of commercially available technology and off-the-shelf video games for hemiparetic upper limb rehabilitation. Methods: The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases were searched using key word synonyms for stroke, upper limb, and video games. Included studies investigated upper limb stroke rehabilitation using commercially available consoles and video games, reported outcomes that included measures of upper limb functionality, and were published in a peer-reviewed journal written in English. Results: Thirteen studies were identified – 6 published as full articles and 7 as abstracts. Studies were generally small and only 3 were randomized. The gaming systems investigated were the Nintendo Wii (n = 10), EyeToy PlayStation (n = 2), and CyWee Z (n = 1). The Nintendo Wii appears to provide the greatest benefits to patients, with improvements seen in upper extremity function measures such as joint range of motion, hand motor function, grip strength, and dexterity. Three studies indicate that video therapy appears to be safe and that long-term improvements continue at follow-up. Conclusions: At present, the evidence that the use of commercial video games in rehabilitation improves upper limb functionality after stroke is very limited. However, this approach has the potential to provide easily available and affordable stroke rehabilitation therapy in settings where access to therapy is limited by geographical or financial constraints.
Keyword Poststroke rehabilitation
Upper limb
Video games
Virtual reality
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published: MAR-APR 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 16 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 19 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 04 May 2014, 10:14:06 EST by System User on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital