Research Reports - The effects of video game therapy on balance and attention in chronic ambulatory traumatic brain injury

BMC Neurol. 2017 May 10;17(1):86. doi: 10.1186/s12883-017-0871-9.

Straudi S(1), Severini G(2), Sabbagh Charabati A(3), Pavarelli C(3), Gamberini
G(3), Scotti A(3), Basaglia N(3).

BACKGROUND: Patients with traumatic brain injury often have balance and attentive
disorders. Video game therapy (VGT) has been proposed as a new intervention to
improve mobility and attention through a reward-learning approach. In this pilot
randomized, controlled trial, we tested the effects of VGT, compared with a
balance platform therapy (BPT), on balance, mobility and selective attention in
chronic traumatic brain injury patients.
METHODS: We enrolled chronic traumatic brain injury patients (n = 21) that
randomly received VGT or BPT for 3 sessions per week for 6 weeks. The clinical
outcome measures included: i) the Community Balance & Mobility Scale (CB&M); ii)
the Unified Balance Scale (UBS); iii) the Timed Up and Go test (TUG); iv) static
balance and v) selective visual attention evaluation (Go/Nogo task).
RESULTS: Both groups improved in CB&M scores, but only the VGT group increased on
the UBS and TUG with a between-group significance (p < 0.05). Selective attention
improved significantly in the VGT group (p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: Video game therapy is an option for the management of chronic
traumatic brain injury patients to ameliorate balance and attention deficits. 

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