Exergaming-Based Dexterity Training in Persons With Parkinson Disease: A Pilot Feasibility Study

Judith J.W. Van Beek, Erwin E.H. Van Wegen, Stephan Bohlhalter, Tim Vanbellingen

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose: Many individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) suffer from impaired dexterity, which impacts activities of daily living and quality of life. Exergaming, video game-based training with augmented virtual reality, may have value for improving function. The aim of the present pilot study was to comprehensively evaluate the feasibility of a dexterity training program using exergaming, in individuals with PD. Methods: Ten participants with PD (aged between 55 and 75 years, Hoehn and Yahr stages II-IV) trained over a period of 4 weeks, twice a week for 30 minutes. Baseline (T0) and postintervention (T1) assessments were done. Primary outcomes with respect to feasibility were the adherence rate, open-end questions, the level of participation (Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale), and the usability (System Usability Scale). Dexterous function was measured with the Nine-Hole Peg Test and the Dexterity Questionnaire-24. Upper limb motor impairment was assessed by a modified version of the Movement Disorders Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale III. Finally, quality of life was assessed by the 39-item Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39). Results: Adherence rate was 99%, motivation increased significantly from 3.9 to 4.8 (Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale, P = 0.03), and system usability of the exergaming system was acceptable to very good. Regarding potential efficacy, participants with impaired dexterity at T0 significantly improved in the Nine-Hole Peg Test and the PDQ-39. Discussions and Conclusions: The outcomes of this pilot study suggest that exergaming is feasible and has potential to improve dexterity in individuals with PD. Its efficacy should be investigated in a properly powered randomized controlled trial. Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at: http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A270).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-174
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurologic physical therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Parkinson disease
  • dexterity
  • exergaming
  • feasibility
  • rehabilitation
  • virtual reality

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