Video game-based therapy helps stroke victims – ScienceDaily

After a stroke, patients may lose feeling in an arm or suffer from weakness and limited mobility that limit their ability to perform basic daily activities. Traditional rehabilitation therapy is very intensive, time-consuming and can be both expensive and cumbersome, particularly for rural patients who have to travel long distances to in-person therapy appointments.

That’s why a team of researchers, including one at the University of Missouri, used a motion-sensing video game, Recovery Rapids, to allow patients recovering from stroke to improve their motor skills and affected arm movements at home while she regularly connects with a therapist about telemedicine.

Researchers found that game-based therapy produced similar improved outcomes as a highly regarded form of in-person therapy known as force-induced therapy, while using only one-fifth of the therapist’s hours. This approach saves time and money while increasing convenience and security as telemedicine has gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As an occupational therapist, I’ve seen patients from rural areas drive more than an hour three to four days a week to a personal clinic where the rehab is very intense and takes three to four hours a session. The therapist has to do it all the time.” be there,” said Rachel Proffitt, assistant professor at the MU School of Health Professions. “With this new approach to gaming in the home, we’re reducing patient costs and reducing therapist time, while increasing comfort and general Improving health outcomes, so it’s a win-win. By saving therapists time, we can continue to serve more patients and have a broader impact on our communities.”

Traditional rehab home exercises tend to be very repetitive and repetitive, and patients rarely adhere to them. The Recovery Rapids game helps patients look forward to rehabilitation by completing various challenges in a fun, interactive environment, and the researchers found that the patients did well with their prescribed exercises.

“The patient is effectively placed in a kayak, and as he travels down the river, he performs arm movements that include paddling, rowing, picking up debris, swaying from side to side to steer, and reaching up to avoid cobwebs and bats to eliminate. It makes the exercises fun,” said Rachel Proffitt, assistant professor at the MU School of Health Professions. “As you progress, the challenges get harder, and we’re conducting check-ins with participants via telemedicine to adjust goals, provide feedback, and to discuss the daily activities that they would like to resume as they improve.”

According to the CDC, nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, and two-thirds of stroke survivors report not being able to use their affected limb for normal daily activities, including making a cup of coffee, cooking a meal, or playing with their grandchildren.

“I’m passionate about helping patients get back to doing all the activities they love in their daily lives,” said Proffitt. “Anything we as therapists can do to help in a creative way while saving time and money is the ultimate goal.”

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Materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Content can be edited for style and length.

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