Patients may lose sense in an arm or experience weakness and decreased movement that hinders them''s ability to complete basic daily activities. Traditional rehabilitation therapy is extremely intense, time-consuming, and can be both expensive and costly, especially for rural patients traveling long distances to in-person therapy appointments.
A team of researchers, including one from the University of Missouri, used a motion-sensor video game, Recovery Rapids, to enable patients recovering from a stroke to develop their motor skills and affected arm movements at home while checking in regularly with a therapist via telehealth.
The researchers found that the game-based therapy gave us improved outcomes similar to those of a highly regarded form of in-person therapy, which is not limited to one-fifth of the therapy hours. This approach saves time and money while increasing safety as telehealth has increased in popularity during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Patients from rural areas have traveled more than an hour to visit an in-person clinic three to four days a week, according to Rachel Proffitt, an assistant professor at the MU Health Professions. With this innovative at-home gaming technique, we are saving time for the patient and improving overall health outcomes, which makes it a win-win. By saving time for the therapists, we can also now serve more patients and make a significant impact on our communities.
Traditional rehab home exercises are often overwhelming and tedious, and patients often follow them. In a fun, interactive environment, the recovery Rapids game assists patients in completing several tasks, and the researchers found that the patients adhered well to their prescribed exercises.
As the patient approaches the river, she maneuvers arm motions, including paddling, rowing, swaying from side to side to steer, and reaching overhead to avoid spider webs and bats, according to Rachel Proffitt, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. As the challenges progress, we conduct check-ins with participants via telehealth to improve their goals, provide feedback, and discuss their daily activities.
According to the CDC, over 800,000 people have a stroke every year, and two-thirds of stroke survivors say they cannot use their affected limbs to do normal daily activities, such as making a cup of coffee, cooking a meal, or meeting with their children.
Proffitt said that while saving time and money is the ultimate goal, I am keen to assist patients recover from all their daily living activities.