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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 580861, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/580861
Clinical Study

The Efficacy of Balance Training with Video Game-Based Therapy in Subacute Stroke Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Santa Lucia Foundation, I.R.C.C.S., Via Ardeatina 306, 00179 Rome, Italy
2Clinical Laboratory of Experimental Neurorehabilitation, Santa Lucia Foundation, I.R.C.C.S., Via Ardeatina 306, 00179 Rome, Italy
3School of Physiotherapy, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Via Orazio Raimondo 18, 00173 Rome, Italy
4Tor Vergata University of Rome, Via Orazio Raimondo 18, 00173 Rome, Italy

Received 17 January 2014; Revised 25 March 2014; Accepted 6 April 2014; Published 5 May 2014

Academic Editor: Stefano Masiero

Copyright © 2014 Giovanni Morone 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

The video game-based therapy emerged as a potential valid tool in improving balance in several neurological conditions with controversial results, whereas little information is available regarding the use of this therapy in subacute stroke patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of balance training using video game-based intervention on functional balance and disability in individuals with hemiparesis due to stroke in subacute phase. Fifty adult stroke patients participated to the study: 25 subjects were randomly assigned to balance training with Wii Fit, and the other 25 subjects were assigned to usual balance therapy. Both groups were also treated with conventional physical therapy (40 min 2 times/day). The main outcome was functional balance (Berg Balance Scale-BBS), and secondary outcomes were disability (Barthel Index-BI), walking ability (Functional Ambulation Category), and walking speed (10-meters walking test). Wii Fit training was more effective than usual balance therapy in improving balance (BBS: 53 versus 48, ) and independency in activity of daily living (BI: 98 versus 93, ). A balance training performed with a Wii Fit as an add on to the conventional therapy was found to be more effective than conventional therapy alone in improving balance and reducing disability in patients with subacute stroke.