Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Jeffrey D. Holmes

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Mary E. Jenkins

Joint Supervisor


Increasingly, the Nintendo Wii gaming system has been cited as an adjunctive tool for physical rehabilitation, particularly among older adults and individuals with limited mobility. However, evidence supporting “Wii-hab” remains predominantly anecdotal. The present study evaluates the effectiveness of a 12-week home-based exercise program designed around the Wii, in improving balance of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Fifteen individuals with PD engaged in three 30-minute Wii balance-training sessions per week, for 12 weeks. Balance was assessed using a forceplate in 4 quiet standing conditions of varying difficulty at 3 testing sessions: (1) baseline; (2) 6 weeks; and (3) 12 weeks. Participants were also asked to complete a balance confidence survey at each testing session. Results suggest that the program had a positive effect on balance. Furthermore, results supported that the Wii training program had a significant effect on program adherence. Results suggested improvements in balance and balance confidence.