Objectives: To investigate the feasibility of using video-games in a group setting and to compare the effectiveness of video-games as a group intervention to a traditional group intervention for improving physical activity in individuals with chronic stroke. Design: A single-blind randomized controlled trial with evaluations pre and post a 3-month intervention, and at 3-month follow-up. Compliance (session attendance), satisfaction and adverse effects were feasibility measures. Grip strength and gait speed were measures of physical activity. Hip accelerometers quantified steps/day and the Action Research Arm Test assessed the functional ability of the upper extremity. Results: Forty-seven community-dwelling individuals with chronic stroke (29-78 years) were randomly allocated to receive video-game (N=24) or traditional therapy (N=23) in a group setting. There was high treatment compliance for both interventions (video-games-78%, traditional therapy-66%), but satisfaction was rated higher for the video-game (93%) than the traditional therapy (71%) (χ2=4.98, P=0.026). Adverse effects were not reported in either group. Significant improvements were demonstrated in both groups for gait speed (F=3.9, P=0.02), grip strength of the weaker (F=6.67, P=0.002) and stronger hands (F=7.5, P=0.001). Daily steps and functional ability of the weaker hand did not increase in either group. Conclusions: Using video-games in a small group setting is feasible, safe and satisfying. Video-games improve indicators of physical activity of individuals with chronic stroke.
- physical activity
- video games