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Research Article  |   January 1993
The Use of a Game to Promote Arm Reach in Persons With Traumatic Brain Injury
Author Affiliations
  • Janine M. Sietsema, BS, is a certified fitness instructor, Hope Network Brain Injury Program and Western Michigan Arthritis Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a graduate student in occupational therapy, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Mailing address: 817 Ballard Southeast, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49507)
  • David L. Nelson, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor, Occupational Therapy Department, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Rebecca M. Mulder, OTR, is an Occupational Therapist, NovaCare, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Deborah Mervau-Scheidel, OTR, is an Occupational Therapist, Mary Free Bed Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Bob E. White, PhD, is Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering Department, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Research
Research Article   |   January 1993
The Use of a Game to Promote Arm Reach in Persons With Traumatic Brain Injury
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1993, Vol. 47, 19-24. doi:10.5014/ajot.47.1.19
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1993, Vol. 47, 19-24. doi:10.5014/ajot.47.1.19
Abstract

This study tested a principle of occupational therapy and motor learning theory in the context of neurodevelopmental treatment techniques. Ten trials of occupationally embedded intervention (playing Simon,™ a computer-controlled game) were compared with 10 trials of rote arm-reach exercise. A counterbalanced design was structured so that each subject experienced each condition one week apart. Subjects were 17 men and 3 women with traumatic brain injury who exhibited mild to moderate spasticity in the upper extremity. Maximum distance from hip to wrist during active reach of the affected extremity was measured by digitization of videotape with the Motion Analysis™ EV-3D system. Results indicated that the use of the game elicited significantly more range of motion than the rote exercise (t (19) = 5.77, p < .001). These results support the use of an occupationally embedded intervention for persons with traumatic brain injury and add to the theoretical base of occupational therapy.