Video: Stroke Patients Recovering Using Wii Games

PUBLISHED: 09:53 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010


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PATIENTS at The Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely are using the popular Nintendo Wii games console to help them on the road to recovery. Patients on the hospital s Welney Ward, many of whom are recovering after having suffered a stroke, are spending tim

Patients have a go using the Wii

PATIENTS at The Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely are using the popular Nintendo Wii games console to help them on the road to recovery.

Patients on the hospital's Welney Ward, many of whom are recovering after having suffered a stroke, are spending time playing on the Wii to help them regain their balance and movement as well as aiding their co-ordination.

Alongside more traditional treatments such as stretching and light exercise, physiotherapists on the rehabilitation ward have also introduced sessions of virtual bowling and golf, something which has gone down well with patients.

Physiotherapist Barry Underwood, said: "We have had a fantastic response from the people who have taken part in the sessions; they all really seem to enjoy it.

"At first they are sceptical and aren't at all keen to take part but given an hour or so on the Wii and they don't want to give the control back, there has even been some rivalry between staff and the patients when it comes to top scores."

The idea to use the Wii to help stoke patients at the hospital was first dreamt up back in December when the hospital physios noticed that the movements involved with playing the games were similar to those used in therapy sessions.

Mr Underwood said: "We just thought that the simple movements like the golf swing or the bowling together with the co-ordination required to make it work on screen could be both fun and beneficial to the patients."

Should the scheme prove a success at the hospital in Ely, NHS bosses have expressed an interest in rolling a similar system involving the Wii out across other hospitals in the area.

Ward patient Bill Fleming, who is a keen golfer, said: "I've had a couple of sessions so far and I think it's great fun having a go. I particularly like to have a go on the golf game."

Grace Cox, who also uses the sessions, said "My granddaughter has a Wii at home, so of course I had to have a go here, I think she will be pleasantly surprised when I get home.

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