How can ‘Wii’ enhance the effects of pulmonary rehabilitation?
Janelle York, lecturer and researcher in nursing, looks at using the Nintendo Wii as a form of for pulmonary rehabilitation.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is an effective strategy for managing COPD. Yet, up-take by patients is low and attrition high. There are multiple factors associated with this including a lack of resources, travel issues and patient motivation. For patients who do attend and complete a rehabilitation programme the gains decline after its termination with data suggesting a return to pre-programme levels of quality of life and exercise capacity within 6 to 12 months. Many programmes often fail after rehabilitation because regular exercise at home and healthy lifestyle options are not maintained. So what more can ‘Wii’ do for patients to improve the experience of rehabilitation and maintain its positive effects in the long term?
Well, Christmas is around the corner and, for many children, a Nintendo Wii console will be at the top of the wish list. For many of us with elderly parents or grandparents the question is always “what are we going to buy them this year for Christmas?” Perhaps a Nintendo Wii is the answer. Contrary to popular believe many older citizens are surfing the internet, know how to operate Skye, and are generally IT savvy. Playing a Wii game could provide both mental stimulation and physical exercise in the comfort of one’s own home.
The use of Wii technology could provide pulmonary rehabilitation programmes with the extra factor needed keep patients motivated in the long term. Being asked to follow an exercise programme using Wii is no doubt more enticing than following exercise instructions provided on paper. Plus exercising with Wii can get the whole family involved in the process and make exercise more fun and less of a chore. Of course there are financial and safety issues associated with this. However, the use of Wii in the rehabilitation of patients following a stroke and in children with cerebral palsy is gaining momentum. So, perhaps for some patients ‘Wii’ can enhance their experience of pulmonary rehabilitation.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and New Year.
Janelle York, Lecturer and Researcher in Nursing, University of Salford