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A Serious Game for Upper Limb Stroke Rehabilitation Using Biofeedback and Mirror-Neurons Based Training.

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Laboratório de Computação Aplicada, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria-RS, Brasil.
Hospital Universitário de Santa Maria, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria-RS, Brasil.


Upper limb stroke rehabilitation requires early, intensive and repetitive practice to be effective. Consequently, it is often difficult to keep patients committed to their rehabilitation regimen. In addition to direct measures of rehabilitation achievable through targeted assessments, other factors can indirectly lead to rehabilitation. Current levels of integration between commodity graphics software, hardware, and body-tracking devices have provided a reliable tool to build what are referred to as serious games, focusing on the rehabilitation paradigm. More specifically, serious games can captivate and engage players for a specific purpose such as developing new knowledge or skills. This paper discusses a serious game application with a focus on upper limb rehabilitation in patients with hemiplegia or hemiparesis. The game makes use of biofeedback and mirror-neurons to enhance the patient's engagement. Results from the application of a quantitative self-report instrument to assess in-game engagement suggest that the serious game is a viable instructional approach rather than an entertaining novelty and, furthermore, demonstrates the future potential for dual action therapy-focused games.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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