"Wii-Hab" in critically ill children: A pilot trial
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PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and feasibility of virtual reality (VR) exercise as a novel acute rehabilitation intervention in a Pediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU) setting. METHODS: Children aged 3-18 years with an anticipated PCCU stay > 48 hours, and baseline normal to moderate cognitive and functional disability were eligible. Exclusion criteria included: anticipated death, physical inability, or a contraindication to mobilization. Nintendo Wii™ Boxing was prescribed for a minimum of 10 minutes twice a day for 2 days. Primary outcomes were feasibility and safety. RESULTS: Of 21 eligible patients, 12 (57.1%) were enrolled and 8 completed the study. 41.7% (5/12) were males, and the median age was 11 (3,16) years. Four of the 8 participants who received the intervention were mechanically ventilated during Wii™ play. Participants used the Wii™ a median of 2 times (1,5) over the 2-day intervention period, for a median total duration of 54.5 (15, 224) minutes. There were no adverse events attributable to the intervention. Upper limb activity during Wii™ was significantly greater than the average daily activity (p=0.049). Grip strength did not change significantly from baseline (p=0.20). CONCLUSION: While the results of this pilot trial suggest that VR exercise may be safely applied in a subset of critically ill children, we observed several threats to its feasibility in this population.
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