Project Falcon: A new video game controller for hand and arm therapies

Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT)


Summary

Hand and arm therapies can sometimes be boring for kids. Video games can make these therapy activities more fun. We would like to try out a new video game controller called the Falcon. We think that using the Falcon might be helpful for grip strength and for wrist extension.  The Falcon is different from other video game controllers because it can make you feel like you are touching real-life objects.

In this study, we will invite seven kids to Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto to try out the Falcon with a research therapist. First, we will find out if the Falcon is fun and comfortable to use. We will learn how to make it better to use. Next, we will learn if 12 weekly sessions with the Falcon help to improve hand function. This study will also help design future research studies to learn whether this is an effective alternative intervention for therapy for children with cerebral palsy.


Researcher(s)

Elaine Biddiss, MASc, PhD


Participate in this study

Do you wish hand and arm therapies could be more fun? Participate in a clinical trial about a new video game controller for interactive computer play therapies!


Who can participate

We are looking for kids who:

  • have hemiplegic cerebral palsy
  • are between 8 and 16 years of age
  • have some difficulty handling objects (Levels I to III on the Manual Abilities Classification System)
  • arms have not been treated with Botulinum Toxin in the last 3 months
  • do not have a history of epilepsy or had epilepsy but is now under control
  • have typical or corrected to typical vision and hearing for video game play
  • can answer questions in English about preferences

What's Involved

Your child will meet with a research therapist for 12 weekly sessions at Holland Bloorview. Each session will last one hour. In total, the study will last 14 weeks (3 and ½ months) and all the sessions will happen at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Your child will try out the new video game controller. We will find out if he/she can use it comfortably. We will make changes to make it easier to use. For example, we can change the shape of the controller’s grip to make it easier to grasp.

The research therapist will also observe how your child uses his/her hands. They will measure grip strength and wrist range of movement. We will ask you and your child to answer some questions about how they usually use their hands.  We will briefly interview your child about their experience and preferences playing video games. We will also ask your child what he/she likes or doesn’t like about the video game system. This will happen both before and after the 12 sessions. 


Deadline

Recruitment will end in February 2016.


Interested in participating

If you are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact Maritza Basaran by telephone (416-425-6220 ext. 3220) or by email (mbasaran@hollandbloorview.ca) with your interest and she will get back to you. Contacting us does not obligate you or your child to participate in the study.


Funding Agency

Internal funding: Bloorview Research Institute/Université Laval Catalyst grant

Learn more about this study