Physioland: a motivational complement of physical therapy for patients with neurological diseases

Tiago Martins, Vítor Carvalho*, Filomena Soares, Celina Leão

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    The number of patients with mobility constraints is increasing as a result of neurological diseases. From the substantiation of the lost functions recoveries, it was possible to determine that the nervous system is able to reorganize itself expressing its property called neuroplasticity. Physical therapy is the well-known way to encourage and promote this ability. However, repetitive traditional physical therapy exercises may become boring and patients eventually abandon their physiotherapeutic programs. The development of new environments that motivate patients to continue with their treatments may be a suitable alternative or complementary tool. Serious games seems to be the ideal tool to provide them. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to present Physioland, a serious game already developed which can be a motivational complement for the physical therapy of patients with neurological diseases. Physioland is a non-invasive system that uses Image Processing Techniques and Artificial Intelligence to monitor patients and adapts some exercises of traditional physical therapy to electronic game situations. To determine whether Physioland would be motivating and challenging enough to increase a patient's desire to perform the exercises and continue/complete the rehabilitation process the game was tested in a clinical environment using two samples: one with twelve health professionals in the area of physiotherapy and the other with eleven patients with neurological diseases. The research team carried out a questionnaire-based survey. This questionnaire is an adaptation of another one already validated in the literature—the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). For the analysis of the data obtained with the Likert scale, percentages were calculated. The answers to the open questions were subject to a content analysis. The results showed that the developed game, Physioland, proved to be highly motivating for patients at the physiotherapy clinic where it was tested. If the results are similar in other clinics, Physioland, can be used as a good and effective complement to traditional physical therapy for patients with neurological diseases.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)12035-12057
    Number of pages23
    JournalMultimedia Tools and Applications
    Volume83
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

    Keywords

    • Mobility problems
    • Neurological diseases
    • Neuronal plasticity
    • Patient motivation
    • Physical therapy
    • Physioland
    • Serious games

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