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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Development of an Exergame for Urban-dwelling Older Adults With Functional Limitations: Results and Lessons Learned

TitleDevelopment of an Exergame for Urban-dwelling Older Adults With Functional Limitations: Results and Lessons Learned
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSzanton, SL, Walker, RK, Lim, JH, Fisher, L, Zhan, A, Gitlin, LN, Thorpe, RJ, Terzis, A
JournalProg Community Health Partnersh
Volume10
Pagination73-81
Date PublishedSpring
ISBN Number1557-0541 (Print)1557-0541 (Linking)
Accession Number27018356
Keywords*Exercise, *Urban Population, *Video Games, Accidental Falls/prevention & control, Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Community-Based Participatory Research/*methods, Cooperative Behavior, Disabled Persons/*rehabilitation, Feasibility Studies, Female, Health Promotion/*methods, Humans, Male, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Pilot Projects, Tai Ji
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Falls at home are common and potentially fatal for disabled older adults. To address this problem, we created an academic-community partnership involving disabled, urban-dwelling older adults and their families, the housing authority, a Tai Chi master, and a university. OBJECTIVES: We conducted a pilot to assess safety, acceptability, and feasibility of a Wii-based exergame designed to increase disabled older adults' strength and balance. METHODS: A working prototype was developed and evaluated. Then, we piloted a refined version with 19 disabled urban-dwelling older adults. RESULTS: The program was enjoyable, feasible, and acceptable. Participants described multiple functional improvements. Of the 16 who completed at least three gaming sessions, average balance score increased 25% and gait speed increased 19%. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot showed promising results for improving strength and balance in the home setting, and yielded valuable lessons about health technology development with community partners.