Commercially available interactive video games in burn rehabilitation: Therapeutic potential

Ingrid S. Parry, Anita Bagley, Jason Kawada, Soman Sen, David G Greenhalgh, Tina L Palmieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Commercially available interactive video games (IVG) like the Nintendo Wii™ (NW) and PlayStation™II Eye Toy (PE) are increasingly used in the rehabilitation of patients with burn. Such games have gained popularity in burn rehabilitation because they encourage range of motion (ROM) while distracting from pain. However, IVGs were not originally designed for rehabilitation purposes but rather for entertainment and may lack specificity for achieving rehabilitative goals. Objectively evaluating the specific demands of IVGs in relation to common burn therapy goals will determine their true therapeutic benefit and guide their use in burn rehabilitation. Upper extremity (UE) motion of 24 normal children was measured using 3D motion analysis during play with the two types of IVGs most commonly described for use after burn: NW and PE. Data was analyzed using t-tests and One-way Analysis of Variance. Active range of motion for shoulder flexion and abduction during play with both PE and NW was within functional range, thus supporting the idea that IVGs offer activities with therapeutic potential to improve ROM. PE resulted in higher demands and longer duration of UE motion than NW, and therefore may be the preferred tool when UE ROM or muscular endurance are the goals of rehabilitation. When choosing a suitable IVG for application in rehabilitation, the user's impairment together with the therapeutic attributes of the IVG should be considered to optimize outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-500
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Burn rehabilitation
  • Motion analysis
  • Nintendo Wii
  • PlayStation EyeToy
  • Video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery


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