Wii-fit for improving gait and balance in an assisted living facility: A pilot study

Kalpana P. Padala, Prasad R. Padala, Timothy R. Malloy, Jenenne A. Geske, Patricia M. Dubbert, Richard A. Dennis, Kimberly K. Garner, Melinda M. Bopp, William J. Burke, Dennis H. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Objectives. To determine the effects on balance and gait of a Wii-Fit program compared to a walking program in subjects with mild Alzheimer's dementia (AD). Methods. A prospective randomized (1: 1) pilot study with two intervention arms was conducted in an assisted living facility with twenty-two mild AD subjects. In both groups the intervention occurred under supervision for 30 minutes daily, five times a week for eight weeks. Repeated measures ANOVA and paired t-tests were used to analyze changes. Results. Both groups showed improvement in Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Tinetti Test (TT) and Timed Up and Go (TUG) over 8 weeks. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups over time. Intragroup analysis in the Wii-Fit group showed significant improvement on BBS (P=0.003), and TT (P=0.013). The walking group showed a trend towards improvement on BBS (P=0.06) and TUG (P=0.07) and significant improvement in TT (P=0.006). Conclusion. This pilot study demonstrates the safety and efficacy of Wii-Fit in an assisted living facility in subjects with mild AD. Use of Wii-Fit resulted in significant improvements in balance and gait comparable to those in the robust monitored walking program. These results need to be confirmed in a larger, methodologically sound study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number597573
JournalJournal of Aging Research
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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