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  • Author: Sarah J. Wherry x
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Sarah J. Wherry, Cheryl Der Ananian and Pamela D. Swan

Background: This study evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of a home-based exercise intervention using the Wii Fit Plus®. Methods: A randomized, controlled trial of 24 women (age 53.6 [5.4] y) was used to assess compliance and changes in balance over 12 weeks. Balance was measured via the Berg Balance Scale and Frailty and Injuries: Cooperative Studies of Intervention Techniques-4 Scale at baseline and week 6 and week 12. Participant compliance to the intervention was captured via paper logs and the electronic record collected by the Wii Fit Plus®. Results: Participants in the intervention group were 95% compliant based on electronic records. There were no significant differences between groups for total score on either balance scale. There was a significant group × time interaction in favor of the intervention for maximum velocity y (P < .05), average velocity (P < .05), and was trending for maximum velocity x (P = .05) in the tandem step, eyes closed position. Conclusions: The results suggest that the Wii Fit Plus® is appropriate for home-based interventions in middle-aged women. Modest improvements in balance indicate that this may be an effective means to improve or maintain balance in older women. More research is needed to determine compliance and benefits to reducing fall risk in durations exceeding 12 weeks.