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Effects of physically active video gaming on cognition and activities of daily living in childhood brain tumor survivors: a randomized pilot study

Journal article
Authors Magnus Sabel
Anette Sjölund
Jurgen Broeren
Daniel Arvidsson
Jean-Michel Saury
Jonas Gillenstrand
Ingrid Emanuelson
Klas Blomgren
Birgitta Lannering
Published in Neuro Oncology Practice
Volume 4
Issue 2
Pages 98-110
ISSN 2054-2577
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Psychology
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science
Pages 98-110
Language en
Links nop.oxfordjournals.org/content/earl...
Keywords Activities of daily living, brain tumor, cognition, exercise therapy, video games
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology, Pediatrics

Abstract

Background. Physical activity can enhance cognitive functions in both animals and humans. We hypothesized that physically active video gaming could: i) improve cognitive functions and ii) improve the execution of activities of daily living among survivors of childhood brain tumors.Methods. Children 7 to 17 years old who completed treatment, including radiotherapy, for a brain tumor 1 to 5 years earlier were randomized to either intervention or waiting list. After 10 to 12 weeks the groups crossed over. The intervention consisted of active video gaming, using a motion-controlled video console (Nintendo Wii), for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week and weekly Internet-based coaching sessions. Evaluations before and after each period included tests of the execution of activities of daily living, using the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) and cognitive tests. Test scores before and after the intervention were compared. A parallel group comparison was performed as a sensitivity analysis.Results. All 13 children enrolled completed the program. Compared to baseline, the motor (P= .012) and process (P=.002) parts of AMPS improved significantly after active video gaming. In the parallel group analysis the improvement in the process part of AMPS remained statistically significant (P= .029), but not the change in AMPS motor score (P= .059). No significant change was found in cognitive tests although there were trends for improvement in sustained attention (P = .090) and selective attention (P = .078).Conclusion. In this pilot study, active video gaming used as a home-based intervention for childhood brain tumor survivors improved motor and process skills in activities of daily living.

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