July 23, 2008

Games Offering Serious Benefits to Move Patients

VIDEO games consoles are being used to help Cardiff hospital patients with physical and mental health problems.

Physiotherapists at St David's Hospital in Canton are using the Nintendo Wii consoles to motivate patients and encourage them to get moving.

Jean Hilbourne, superintendent physiotherapist at St David's, said: "We are using games on the Nintendo Wii console to complement existing therapies for some of our patients, and in a few months we have noticed it not only encourages increased physical activity but it also has the added benefit of stimulating interest and conversation."

Jean said the benefits were created by patients having to physically create or react to what was going on to the screen such as a tennis game or playing skittles.

She said: "It gets people moving, whether they are in a wheelchair or a bed. Some sessions can be quite competitive and anything that encourages a patient to make extra effort is beneficial to their overall rehabilitation.

"The console was donated to us in memory of a former patient by his wife, and our patients are certainly making the most of it."

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