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An interactive game-based shoulder wheel system for rehabilitation

Authors Chang, Chang, Chang H, Chou L

Received 21 August 2012

Accepted for publication 9 October 2012

Published 23 November 2012 Volume 2012:6 Pages 821—828


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Chun-Ming Chang,1,* Yen-Ching Chang,2,3 Hsiao-Yun Chang,4 Li-Wei Chou5,6,*

Department of Applied Informatics and Multimedia, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan; 2Department of Medical Informatics, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; 3Department of Medical Imaging, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; 4Department of Biotechnology, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan; 5Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; 6School of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Increases in the aging population and in the number of accidents have resulted in more people suffering from physical impairments or disabilities. Rehabilitation therapy thus attracts greater attention as a means of helping patients recover and return to a normal life. With the extremely long and tedious nature of traditional rehabilitation, patients are reluctant to continue the entire process, thus the expected effects of the therapy cannot be obtained. Games are well known to help patients improve their concentration and shift their attention away from the discomfort of their injuries during rehabilitation. Thus, incorporating game technology into a rehabilitation program may be a promising approach.
Methods: In this study, a gaming system used for shoulder rehabilitation was developed. The mechanical parts and electric circuits were integrated to mimic the functionalities of a shoulder wheel. Several games were also designed to suit the rehabilitation needs of the patients based on the age and gender differences among the individual users, enabling individuals to undergo the rehabilitation process by playing games. Two surveys were conducted to evaluate the satisfaction of the participants regarding the gaming system.
Results: The results of the online survey among a larger population coincide with the responses of the hands-on participants through a paper-and-pencil survey. Statistical results suggest that the participants are willing to accept this novel approach.
Conclusion: This gaming system can distract a patient from the sensation of pain or anxiety, and increase their motivation to participate in the therapeutic program. Advantages in terms of low-cost and easy setup increase the attractiveness of this new equipment for various potential users.

Keywords: virtual reality, virtual rehabilitation, shoulder wheel, game design

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