The Feasibility, Acceptability and Outcomes of Exergaming among Individuals with Cancer: a Systematic Review

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Abstract

Background
Individuals with cancer have reduced quality of life, functionality, range of motion, strength, and an increase in pain and fatigue. Exergaming appears to be an effective rehabilitation tool for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and post-stroke patients to improve functionality, balance and quality of life; however, the usefulness of exergaming in individuals with cancer is unknown. The aim of this systematic review is to describe exergaming interventions delivered to adults with a current or previous cancer diagnosis and to report the feasibility, acceptability and outcomes of such interventions.

Methods
Studies reporting on exergaming interventions delivered to individuals with a current or previous cancer diagnosis were included. 12 electronic databases were searched. Eight articles (seven interventions) were identified. Data were extracted and assessed for quality by two reviewers.

Results
Three interventions were delivered at hospital, two at home, one at a clinical laboratory, and one did not report. Two interventions were delivered by a physiotherapist, two by an occupational therapist, and one by a nurse, research staff and an exercise physiologist. The Nintendo Wii was used in four of seven studies, whilst the remaining three used the IREX system, BrightArm Duo Rehabilitation System or a custom made exergame. Studies showed that most participants enjoyed the exergaming intervention, and would recommend their use, with some preferring exergaming over standard care interventions. Adherence rates and enjoyment appear greater during exergaming than standard care. Exergaming interventions appear to support improvements balance, function, physical activity levels, strength, fatigue, emotions, cognition and pain.

Conclusion
Exergaming interventions delivered to individuals with cancer show great heterogeneity; differing in duration, frequency and gaming platform. The disease stage and severity of those included, and the outcome measures assessed also vary widely making it difficult to conclude its effectiveness at this time. However, adherence rates and enjoyment appear greater during exergaming compared to standard care, supporting the feasibility and acceptability of this type of intervention delivery for adults with cancer.

Key Words
Cancer. Exergaming. Active Video Games. Rehabilitation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Cancer
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2018

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