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Nintendo Wii Therapy Benefits Children With Cerebral Palsy

WEDNESDAY, June 9, 2021 -- Nintendo Wii balance board therapy (NWT) is beneficial for functional balance in children with cerebral palsy (CP), according to a review published online June 8 in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.

Desirée Montoro-Cárdenas, from the University of Jaén in Spain, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials with 270 children to examine the effect of NWT on functional, dynamic, and static balance in children with CP.

The researchers found very low-quality evidence with a large effect of NWT on functional balance compared with no intervention (Cohen's standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.95; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.02 to 1.89) and moderate-quality evidence for NWT plus conventional physical therapy (CPT) versus CPT (SMD, 0.78; 95 percent CI, 0.20 to 1.35) in sessions of about 30 minutes (SMD, 0.86; 95 percent CI, 0.20 to 1.52) and interventions with a duration exceeding three weeks (SMD, 1.03; 95 percent CI, 0.58 to 1.47). There was very low-quality evidence for a medium effect for dynamic balance with use of NWT plus CPT versus CPT alone (SMD, 0.70; 95 percent CI, 0.12 to 1.29).

"Nintendo® Wii therapy may be a useful tool that can be included in neurorehabilitation physiotherapy protocols to improve balance in children with cerebral palsy," a coauthor said in a statement. "It is a low-cost tool that can be used at home for therapeutic purposes, a fact that is of great relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic."

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