By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Game for Gain Blog Series
Early in 2010 a research group decided to put the Nintendo Wii system up against the Standard Occupational Therapy treatment of Down Syndrome. Three groups were created, one that used the Wii for therapy, one that used SOT and a control group that was comprised mainly of the patients that weren't able to make it to the scheduled therapy sessions.
The Standard Occupational Therapy is comprised mainly of different subtests that allow the children to have different sensory experiences. There were a round of tests solely comprised of swinging exercises (tire swing, T swing, platform swing, etc.), a tactile round of tests where the children felt different surfaces and objects and many different other tests that engaged the children in moving through different sensory experiences.
The Wii group, simply put, played Wii sports for an hour. When looking at the comparison testing, keep in mind that the visual cues offered by Wii sports are plenty and would account for many of the sensory tests that were offered in the SOT group.
The groups results were measured by the BOT-2 measure of motor proficiency. The BOT-2 assesses said proficiency by looking at four groups (each of them having their own subsets but, for the purpose of not turning this into a research paper, I won't list them here): Fine Manual Control Composite (writing, drawing, precise finger control), Manual Coordination Composite (reaching, grasping, object manipulation), Body Coordination Composite (sports and recreational games) and Strength and Agility Composite (large muscle strength). The groups were also measured by the Test of Sensory Integration Function (TSIF) and the developmental test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI).
When all was said and done, the Wii group outperformed SOT in three out of the eight subtests, six of the seven TSIF subtests and both of the VMI subtests. When analyzing the post test statistics, the Wii group showed the largest areas of improvement, with a higher score in 14 out of the 17 of all subtests.
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For the full research report, check out: linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0891422210002404