Video and computer-based interactive exercises are safe and improve task-specific balance in geriatric and neurological rehabilitation: a randomised trial
van den Berg, Maayken
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Question: Does adding video/computer-based interactive exercises to inpatient geriatric and neurological rehabilitation improve mobility outcomes? Is it feasible and safe? Design: Randomised trial. Participants: Fifty-eight rehabilitation inpatients. Intervention: Physiotherapist-prescribed, tailored, video/computer-based interactive exercises for 1 hour on weekdays, mainly involving stepping and weight-shifting exercises. Outcome measures: The primary outcome was the Short Physical Performance Battery (0 to 3) at 2 weeks. Secondary outcomes were: Maximal Balance Range (mm); Step Test (step count); Rivermead Mobility Index (0 to 15); activity levels; Activity Measure for Post Acute Care Basic Mobility (18 to 72) and Daily Activity (15 to 60); Falls Efficacy Scale (10 to 40), ED5D utility score (0 to 1); Reintegration to Normal Living Index (0 to 100); System Usability Scale (0 to 100) and Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (0 to 126). Safety was determined from adverse events during intervention. Results: At 2 weeks the between-group difference in the primary outcome (0.1, 95% CI –0.2 to 0.3) was not statistically significant. The intervention group performed significantly better than usual care for Maximal Balance Range (38 mm difference after baseline adjustment, 95% CI 6 to 69). Other secondary outcomes were not statistically significant. Fifty-eight (55%) of the eligible patients agreed to participate, 25/29 (86%) completed the intervention and 10 (39%) attended > 70% of sessions, with a mean of 5.6 sessions (SD 3.3) attended and overall average duration of 4.5 hours (SD 3.1). Average scores were 62 (SD 21) for the System Usability Scale and 62 (SD 8) for the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale. There were no adverse events. Conclusion: The addition of video/computer-based interactive exercises to usual rehabilitation is a safe and feasible way to increase exercise dose, but is not suitable for all. Adding the exercises to usual rehabilitation resulted in task-specific improvements in balance but not overall mobility.