Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a game-like exercise tool as a component of occupational and physical therapy treatment for patients with shoulder pain and impairment in an outpatient physical therapy clinic. Materials and Methods: The product evaluated is a hands-free therapy (HFT) prototype, using Microsoft® (Redmond, WA) Kinect™ technology. HFT was designed as a home exercise program (HEP), or adjunct to a clinic-based exercise program, with the goal to improve patient compliance and outcomes by providing patients with continuous immediate feedback and engaging them in a game-like experience. Eight patients with shoulder injuries were randomly assigned to study groups. Outcomes in pain, range of motion, and function were assessed. The experimental group received six sessions using HFT; the control group received six sessions of treatment as usual. Results: The research demonstrated that patient outcomes were as good in the group using HFT as outcomes achieved with usual care. HFT was found to be a useful adjunct in an outpatient therapy clinic, allowing patients to complete exercises with real-time feedback and minimal therapist oversight. Conclusions: These preliminary findings support the potential use of technology to provide an effective therapy and HEP system. Additional research utilizing a larger sample size is warranted to determine if this product can be an effective tool to improve HEP compliance and to determine the effectiveness of HFT as an adjunctive treatment in the clinic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Computer Science Applications
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health