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Therapeutic potential and ownership of commercially available consoles in children with cerebral palsy

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posted on 2023-06-09, 03:39 authored by William Farr, Dido Green, Ian Male, Christopher Morris, Sarah Bailey, Heather Gage, Sandra Speller, Val Colville, Mandy Jackson, Stephen BremnerStephen Bremner, Anjum MemonAnjum Memon
Introduction: We conducted a survey amongst families of children with cerebral palsy (CP) to ascertain the ownership and therapeutic use and potential of commercial games consoles to improve motor function. Method: 300 families in southeast England were identified through clinical records,and were requested to complete an anonymised questionnaire. Results: A total of 61 families (20% response) returned a completed questionnaire with 41 (68%) males and 19 (32%) females with Cerebral Palsy, with a mean age of 11Y5M (SD 3Y 7M). The large majority of families, 59 (97%), owned a commercial console and the child used this for 50-300 minutes a week. Returns by severity of motor impairment were: Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) I (21%), II (31%), III (13%), IV (15%), V (18%). Consoles were used regularly for play across all GMFCS categories. Conclusion: The potential of games consoles, as home-based virtual reality therapy (VRT), in improving the motor function of children with cerebral palsy should be appropriately tested in randomised controlled trial. Wide ownership, and the relative ease with which children engage in the use of commercial-based VRT systems suggests potential as a means of augmenting therapy protocols,taking advantage of interest and participation patterns of families. What the study has added: This study shows that there is wide ownership/use of commercial games consoles amongst children with CP; and this offers great potential to test therapeutic efficacy of home-based virtual reality therapy to improve motor function in children. Key messages: Children with Cerebral Palsy frequently access and use commercial consoles during play at home. Consoles are used by children across severity of gross motor function levels. Some families had utilized the consoles for therapeutic purposes, with anecdotal improvements in motor function. Opportunity exists for using commercial consoles within home based therapy protocols and for recreational participation across all GMFCS levels.


Research for Patient Benefit Programme; NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH RESEARCH; RfPB PB-PG-0613-31046


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British Journal of Occupational Therapy




SAGE Publications





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