Engaging children with cerebral palsy in interactive computer play-based motor therapies: theoretical perspectives
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PURPOSE: To provide a theoretically grounded understanding of engagement in interactive computer play-based motor therapies by children with cerebral palsy in home settings. METHODS: A motivational framework for engagement and its relationship with three contemporary theories (self-determination theory, expectancy-value theory, social cognitive theory of self-regulation) was overviewed. A scoping review was conducted to understand how engagement is influenced by features of the technology and intervention design that impact intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, child and parent values and expectancies, and the processes of self-regulation. Multiple reviewers screened and extracted data from 26 articles describing home-based clinical trials of interactive computer play-based motor interventions for children with cerebral palsy. A narrative synthesis framework was used for analysis. RESULTS: Features of the technology and the intervention influence feelings of autonomy (e.g., personalization), competence (e.g., calibration), and relatedness (e.g., social play, virtual therapist/coach). There may be multiple and differently valued goals in interactive computer play-based interventions (e.g., game- and therapy-focused) that, if disconnected or unmet, negatively impact engagement. Multiplayer interactions, real-time feedback and progress tracking provide information that influences self-regulation and engagement over time. CONCLUSIONS: Optimizing engagement in interactive computer play-based motor interventions requires closer alignment with client-led values/goals; design of technologies and interventions that sustain intrinsic motivation; and feedback that informs/builds self-efficacy. Implications for rehabilitation The decision to prescribe an interactive computer play-based motor intervention should be guided by client-led goals and an informed understanding of the capacity of the interactive computer play-based intervention to meet individual client values/expectancies. Sustaining intrinsic motivation in interactive computer play-based motor therapies is greatly influenced by features of the technology (e.g., calibration, feedback, personalization) and the intervention (e.g., interactions with therapists, social play). Increased effort should be directed towards ensuring that interactive computer play-based interventions and technologies reward and reinforce efforts towards therapy goals.
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