Validation of the Balance Board for clinical evaluaton of balance during serious gaming rehabilitation exercises

B. Bonnechère, B. Jansen, L. Omelina, V. Sholukha and S. Van Sint Jan in Telemedicine and e-Health


Balance and posture can be affected in various conditions or become decreased with aging. A diminution of balance control induces an increase of fall’s risk.
The Nintendo Wii Balance Board™ (WBB) is used in rehabilitation to perform balance exercises (using commercial video games). The WBB has also been validated to assess balance and posture in static conditions. However, there is currently no study investigating the use of WBB to assess balance during the realization of balance exercises using this device. The aim of this study was to validate the use of WBB, coupled with specially developed serious games, to assess dynamic balance during rehabilitation exercises.
Thirty five subjects participated in this study. Subjects were asked to play two specially developed serious games. Center of pressure (CP) displacements were simultaneously recorded with a WBB and a gold standard force plate (FP). Nine parameters were derived from CP displacement. Bland and Altman plots, paired-sample t tests, intraclass correlation coefficient’s, and Pearson’s coefficient correlations were computed.
Excellent correlation between both devices was found for each parameter for the two games (R = 0.95 and 0.96).
Unlike previous work on the WBB, these excellent results were obtained without using any calibration procedure. Despite this, results were highly correlated between the WBB and the FP.
The WBB could be used in clinics to assess balance during rehabilitation exercises and, thus, allows a more regular patient follow-up.

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