InterACTIV: An Exploratory Study of the Use of a Game Console to Promote Physical Activation of Hospitalized Adult Patients With Cancer

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Abstract

Purpose/Objectives:

To explore the application of the Nintendo Wii™ game console to motivate hospitalized adult patients with cancer to be physically active during treatment periods.

Design:

An exploratory study with a mixed-method approach, including descriptive statistics and Mayring's qualitative data evaluation method.

Setting:

The Department of Radiation Oncology at the University Hospital in Halle (Saale) in Germany.

Sample:

Convenience sample of 7 adult inpatients.

Methods:

All patients received physical training for five days for 30 minutes per day with Nintendo Wii. After the last training session, patients were interviewed using a semistructured guideline.

Main Research Variables:

Applicability of a motion-activated game console during inpatient treatment periods, patients’ distraction from the hospital environment.

Findings:

In general, the use of a motion-activated game console in a hospital environment was evaluated positively. Participants showed a high degree of acceptance using this kind of physical activity. Because of the Nintendo Wii, the majority of individuals felt stimulated to become physically active during hospitalization. In addition, all patients lost time awareness and felt distracted from the daily hospital routine. A majority of the patients reported an improved mood state from the game sessions.

Conclusions:

The results indicate that a motion-activated game console could be useful to motivate adult patients with cancer to be physically active during hospitalization.

Implications for Nursing:

Nurses can recommend the use of game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii for physical exercise; in addition, the motivational effects of playing motion-activated game consoles might be particularly helpful for patients with cancer-related fatigue to overcome barriers and begin exercise.

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