Exergaming for Children with Cerebral Palsy

As children with cerebral palsy (CP) become teenagers, they experience a decrease in their physical function. Children who are walking with a mobility aid such as a walker often need to start using a wheelchair to get around in the community during adolescence. If they continue with the walker they get tired easily and walk shorter distances. Decreased mobility leads to increased social isolation for the teens and impacts negatively on their quality of life. This loss of function is multifactorial, but poor physical fitness and muscle weakness secondary to disuse are significant contributors. Exercise video games are a novel approach to engage youth in physical exercise and social interaction with their peers. The objective of this study is to develop and evaluate exercise video games to engage youth with CP in physical exercise to improve their physical fitness and increase social interaction with their peers.

Our over-arching research questions are whether exergames can provide health benefits (improved physical fitness) and help enhance leisure participation and quality of life in youth with CP.

For more information

Liberi's design:

Hamilton A. Hernandez, Zi Ye, T.C. Nicholas Graham, Darcy Fehlings, and Lauren Switzer. 2013. Designing action-based exergames for children with cerebral palsy. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1261-1270.

Hamilton A. Hernandez, T.C. Nicholas Graham, Darcy Fehlings, Lauren Switzer, Zi Ye, Quentin Bellay, Md Ameer Hamza, Cheryl Savery, and Tadeusz Stach. 2012. Design of an exergaming station for children with cerebral palsy. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2619-2628.

Liberi's efficacy in promoting exercise:

Shannon Knights, T.C. Nicholas Graham, Lauren Switzer, Hamilton Hernandez, Zi Ye, Briar Findlay, Wen Yan Xie and Darcy Fehlings, An innovative cycling exergame to promote cardiovascular fitness in youth with cerebral palsy: A brief report, Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 1-6, 2014.

How Liberi supports social connection:

Hamilton A. Hernandez, Mallory Ketcheson, Adrian Schneider, Zi Ye, Darcy Fehlings, Lauren Switzer, Virginia Wright, Shelly K. Bursick, Chad Richards and T.C. Nicholas Graham, Design and Evaluation of a Networked Game to Support Social Connection of Youth with Cerebral Palsy, in Proceedings of the ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS), ACM Press, 2014, pp 161-168.

Team

At Queen's University: Nicholas Graham, Daniel Clarke, Susan Hwang, Adrian Schneider

At Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital: Darcy Fehlings, Alex Macintosh, Lauren Switzer, Leah Brown

Alumni

At Queen's University: Zi Ye, Hamilton Hernandez, Dan Moran, Shelly Bursick,

At Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital: Shannon Knights, Najwa Najjar