Playing computer games may reduce dizziness

Playing computer games can significantly improve the quality of life for patients with dizziness, according to NNUH research.

Forty patients took part in a pilot study to test the effectiveness of using a Wii Fit balance platform to aid their rehabilitation.

Patients under the care of the Norwich Balance Clinic at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital volunteered to take part in the 16 week trial, with half of participants taking part in traditional vestibular rehabilitation exercises and the other half playing the gaming console.

Debbie Phillis demonstrating the Wii Fit balance platform

Volunteers who exercised using the Wii Fit played nine different balance games for an hour a day, including skiing, tightrope, snowboarding and meditation.

The results, published in The Journal of Laryngology and Otology, showed that both exercise regimes helped reduce dizziness for patients and improved their quality of life. They also showed that there was no difference between the two exercise methods.

Experts from NNUH said the results demonstrated the need for a larger clinical trial to test the clinical benefits of using Wii Fit to help some patients with their balance. The study was coordinated by John Phillips, John Fitzgerald, Debbie Phillis, Alison Underwood and Andrew Bath from the Audiology and Ear, Nose and Throat teams.

Dr Fitzgerald, Head of Audiology at NNUH, said: “The use of technology, particularly when implemented outside the hospital setting, provides many advantages to individual patients and the NHS as a whole. The findings of this pilot study add to mounting evidence regarding the role of video gaming technology to improve the health and quality of life of individuals with dizziness and balance impairment.”

Tuesday 16th of October 2018 12:13:59 PM