[Review] Gamified In-Home Rehabilitation for Stroke Survivors: Analytical Review – Full Text DOC file


A stroke is a life-changing event that may end up as a disability, with repercussions on the patient’s quality of life. Stroke rehabilitation therapies are helpful to regain some of the patient’s lost functionality. However, in practice stroke patients may suffer from a gradual loss of motivation. Gamified systems are used to increase user motivation, hence, gamified elements have been implemented into stroke rehabilitation therapies in order to improve patients’ engagement and adherence. This review work focuses on selecting and analyzing developed and validated gamified stroke rehabilitation systems published between 2009 and 2017 to identify the most important features of these systems. After extensive research, 32 articles have met the selection criteria, resulting in a total of 28 unique works. The works were analyzed and a total of 20 features were identified. The features are explained, making emphasis on the works that implement them extensively. Finally, a classification of features based on objectives is proposed, which was used to identify the relationships between features and implementation gaps. It was found that there is a tendency to develop low-cost solutions as in-home therapy systems; to include automated features; provide a diversity of games and use of simple interaction devices. This review allowed the definition of the opportunities for future research direction such as systems addressing the three rehabilitation areas; data analytics to make decisions; motivational content identification based on automatic engagement detection and emotion recognition; and alert systems for patient´s safety.

  1. Introduction

Brain stroke is a life-changing disease that can have fatal consequences. Stroke survivors may end up with long-term disabilities. These disabilities will depend on the damaged part of the brain and the body functions related to it. Older adults are the population with the highest risk of suffering a stroke and ending up with a disability. This makes of stroke the leading cause of adult disability worldwide [1-4].

Stroke rehabilitation therapy has proven to be useful in helping the patient to regain some of his lost functionality [5-8]. In traditional rehabilitation programs, when the rehabilitation in the hospital is completed, the patients return to their homes, where they should continue with more rehabilitation activities. However, the patient’s adherence is reduced at home. The two main causes for this are: the lack of available resources and tools to sustain training for longer periods; and, a diminishing motivation as repetitive exercises are perceived as tedious and boring [9-12]. Gamified rehabilitation systems have proven to be useful to improve motor and cognitive function and additionally as a tool to motivate patients to adhere to the therapy programme [13-22].

This study focuses on gamified systems dedicated for stroke patients’ upper limb rehabilitation for in-home use. The objectives of this study are: 1) provide a literature review of the developed and tested gamified systems for in-home stroke rehabilitation, between 2009 and 2017; 2) identify and explain the most used features of these systems; 3) provide a simple way to classify the features, in order to identify the relationships between them and the gaps of their implementations. A total of 32 articles have met the selection criteria, which resulted in a total of 28 unique works. From analysis of these studies, a total of 20 features were identified. The remaining of this paper is structured as follows. Section 2 describes the methodology used to find the reviewed works and the database to be used, as well as the selection criteria applied to select research works. Section 3 presents the results of the analysis, with the emphasis on the importance of each feature and the works that implemented them to higher extents. An analytical point of view is discussed in Section 4, where an objective-based classification is proposed, the relationships between the features are presented and additionally, the gaps in the current systems are identified. Finally, Section 5 is dedicated for the conclusion and the future research perspectives.[…]

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