Rehabilitation after a stroke with video games turned out to be as effective as traditional methods
A thorough study was conducted at the University of Missouri (USA) to compare two methods of recovery after a stroke – classical rehabilitation techniques and using video games. The concept of the latter is not new, it has been used for a long time and gives good results, but a detailed comparison of the effectiveness has not been carried out before. The result, according to researcher Rachel Profit, turned out to be exceptionally successful.
“Movement therapy” is widely used in stroke rehabilitation, but its main drawback is that the patient needs direct contact with a physiotherapist. This is expensive, tedious and severely limits the possibilities of therapy – many Profit patients have to travel for hours from the countryside to her for an appointment. However, as the recovery progresses, the need for physical contact decreases, and it is only necessary to give the patient instructions and monitor the correctness of the exercises.
This is where telemedicine comes to the aid of therapists, plus a specially designed game “Recovery Rapids”. This is a canoe swimming simulator, diluted with a number of interesting tasks. So, it is necessary not only to keep the balance of the virtual canoe and row, but also to push garbage away from the boat, catch valuable items, wave off bats and clean up cobwebs when swimming in caves. All this makes the training process fascinating, patients immediately see the result of movements and adjust their actions.
According to the results of a study involving hundreds of patients, it turned out that this technique is in no way inferior to classical methods of rehabilitation, the effectiveness is the same, if not higher. But at the same time, the frequency of visits to medical institutions is reduced by 80%, minimal contact between doctors and the patient is required, which saves both time and money.