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Open Access Highly Accessed Short Report

EXercising with Computers in Later Life (EXCELL) - pilot and feasibility study of the acceptability of the Nintendo® WiiFit in community-dwelling fallers

Marie A Williams1*, Roy L Soiza1, Alison McE Jenkinson2 and Alison Stewart3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine for the Elderly, NHS Grampian, DOME Office, Woodend Hospital, Eday Road, Aberdeen, AB15 6XS, Scotland, UK

2 School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, IMS Building, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK

3 Bone and Musculoskeletal Research Programme, School of Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:238  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-238

Published: 13 September 2010

Abstract

Background

Falls management programmes have been instituted to attempt to reduce falls. This pilot study was undertaken to determine whether the Nintendo® WiiFit was a feasible and acceptable intervention in community-dwelling older fallers.

Findings

Community-dwelling fallers over 70 years were recruited and attended for computer-based exercises (n = 15) or standard care (n = 6). Balance and fear of falling were assessed at weeks 0, 4 and 12. Participants were interviewed on completion of the study to determine whether the intervention was acceptable.

Eighty percent of participants attended 75% or more of the exercise sessions. An improvement in Berg Score was seen at four weeks (p = 0.02) and in Wii Age at 12 weeks (p = 0.03) in the intervention group. There was no improvement in balance scores in the standard care group.

Conclusion

WiiFit exercise is acceptable in self-referred older people with a history of falls. The WiiFit has the potential to improve balance but further work is required.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov - NCT01082042