Functional Outcomes and Psychological Benefits of Active Video Games in the Rehabilitation of Lateral Ankle Sprains: A Case Report

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: The use of active video games (AVG) as a treatment modality in the rehabilitation context is increasing. However, little is known about the functional outcomes and psychological benefits of such rehabilitation in college athletes with lateral ankle sprains (LASs). Objective: To examine functional outcomes and psychological benefits of AVG-aided rehabilitation program for LAS. Design: A mixed-methods, single-subject case series design. Setting: College athletic training clinic. Patients: Two female college soccer players who sustained LAS (grades I and II) during sport participation. Intervention: A 4-week balance training program. One patient completed balance exercises using AVG, whereas the other patient completed traditional balance exercises. Main Outcome Measures: Several validated instruments were used to evaluate different functional outcomes and psychological factors: balance (Balance Error Scoring System, Star Excursion Balance Test), rehabilitation adherence (Rehabilitation Adherence Measure for Athletic Training), foot and ankle function (Foot and Ankle Ability Measure), perceptions of pain (Visual Analog Scale for pain), perceived readiness to return to sport (Injury-Psychological Readiness to Return to Sport Scale), and mood (Brunel Mood Scale). Results: It appears that the balance training protocols (AVG and traditional balance exercises) were equally effective in restoring patient’s balance to functional levels. Despite very individualistic processes of rehabilitation, the participants’ perceived pain, perceived readiness to return to sport, and mood states were closely linked with objective and subjective functional measures of progress. Conclusions: Based on the results, AVG has the potential to provide more versatility into the static and dynamic postural control exercises typically used following acute LAS. Moreover, the current results support the existing psychological and biopsychosocial theoretical conceptualizations of athletes’ responses to injuries and rehabilitation process.

Arvinen-Barrow and Earl-Boehm are with Integrative Health Care & Performance Unit, Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI. Maresh is with Beloit College, Beloit, WI.

Arvinen-Barrow (arvinenb@uwm.edu) is corresponding author.
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