An ExerGame with Tai Chi for Older Adults With Functional Limitations
April 21, 2016 -
Falls at home
are common and potentially fatal for disabled older adults. To address this
problem, Johns Hopkins University led an
academic-community partnership involving disabled, urban-dwelling older adults
and their families, the housing authority and a Tai Chi master.
They conducted a pilot to assess safety,
acceptability, and feasibility of a Wii-based exergame designed to increase
disabled older adults' strength and balance.
A working prototype was developed and
evaluated. Then, they piloted a refined version with 19 disabled urban-dwelling
The results from the pilot showed that the
program was enjoyable, feasible, and acceptable. Participants described multiple
functional improvements. Of the 16 who completed at least three gaming sessions,
average balance score increased 25% and gait speed increased 19%.
This pilot showed promising results for
improving strength and balance in the home setting, and yielded valuable lessons
about health technology development with community partners.
The study was published in the latest
issue of the journal Progressive Community Health Partnerships.