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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 597573, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/597573
Research Article

Wii-Fit for Improving Gait and Balance in an Assisted Living Facility: A Pilot Study

1Reynolds Department of Geriatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA
2Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Central Arkansas Veterans Health Administration System, 2200 Fort Roots Drive (3J/NLR), North Little Rock, AR 72114, USA
3Department of Psychiatry, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA
4Department of Family Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA
5Department of Psychiatry, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA

Received 3 January 2012; Revised 1 March 2012; Accepted 23 March 2012

Academic Editor: James Lindesay

Copyright © 2012 Kalpana P. Padala et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. To determine the effects on balance and gait of a Wii-Fit program compared to a walking program in subjects with mild Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). Methods. A prospective randomized (1 : 1) pilot study with two intervention arms was conducted in an assisted living facility with twenty-two mild AD subjects. In both groups the intervention occurred under supervision for 30 minutes daily, five times a week for eight weeks. Repeated measures ANOVA and paired t-tests were used to analyze changes. Results. Both groups showed improvement in Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Tinetti Test (TT) and Timed Up and Go (TUG) over 8 weeks. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups over time. Intragroup analysis in the Wii-Fit group showed significant improvement on BBS (P=0.003), and TT (P=0.013). The walking group showed a trend towards improvement on BBS (P=0.06) and TUG (P=0.07) and significant improvement in TT (P=0.006). Conclusion. This pilot study demonstrates the safety and efficacy of Wii-Fit in an assisted living facility in subjects with mild AD. Use of Wii-Fit resulted in significant improvements in balance and gait comparable to those in the robust monitored walking program. These results need to be confirmed in a larger, methodologically sound study.