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Perception of game-based rehabilitation in upper-limb prosthetic training: a survey of users and researchers

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJMIR Serious Games
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Nov 2020


Background: Serious games have been investigated for their use in multiple forms of rehabilitation for decades. The rising trend to use games for physical fitness in more recent years has also provided more options and garnered more interest for their use in physical rehabilitation and motor learning. In this paper, we report the results of an opinion survey of serious games in upper limb prosthetic training.

Objective: This study investigates and contrasts the expectations and preferences for game based prosthetic rehabilitation of people with limb difference and researchers.

Methods: Both participant groups answered open and closed questions as well as a questionnaire to assess their user types. The distribution of the user types was compared with a Pearson’s χ2 test against a sample population. The data was analysed with the thematic framework method; answers fell within the themes of usability, training, and game design. Researchers shared their views on current challenges and what could be done to tackle these.

Results: A total of 14 people with limb difference and 12 researchers took part in this survey. The open questions resulted in an overview of the different views on prosthetic training games between the groups. The user types of people with limb difference and researchers were both significantly different from the sample population with χ2 = 12.31 and χ2 = 26.50, respectively.
Conclusions:We found that the respondents show a general willingness and tentative optimism towards the topic, but also acknowledge hurdles limiting the adoption of these games by both clinics and users. Results indicate a noteworthy difference between researchers and limb different people in their game preferences, which could lead to design choices that do not represent the target audience. Furthermore,focus on long-term in-homeexperimentsis expected to shed more light onto the validity of games in upper limb prosthetic rehabilitation.

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