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Increasing motivation in robot-aided arm rehabilitation with competitive and cooperative gameplay


Novak, Domen; Nagle, Aniket; Keller, Urs; Riener, Robert (2014). Increasing motivation in robot-aided arm rehabilitation with competitive and cooperative gameplay. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation (JNER), 11:64.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Several strategies have been proposed to improve patient motivation and exercise intensity during robot-aided stroke rehabilitation. One relatively unexplored possibility is two-player gameplay, allowing subjects to compete or cooperate with each other to achieve a common goal. In order to explore the potential of such games, we designed a two-player game played using two ARMin arm rehabilitation robots.
METHODS: The game was an air-hockey task displayed on a computer monitor and controlled using shoulder movements in the ARMin robot. Three game modes were tested: single-player (competing against computer), competitive (competing against human), and cooperative (cooperating with human against computer). All modes were played by 30 unimpaired subjects and 8 impaired chronic stroke subjects. The subjects filled out the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory questionnaire after each game mode, as well as a final questionnaire about game preferences and their personality.
RESULTS: Nearly all unimpaired subjects preferred playing the two-player game modes to the single-player one, as they enjoyed talking and interacting with another person. However, there were two distinct player groups: one liked the competitive mode but not the cooperative mode while the other liked the cooperative but not the competitive mode. Unimpaired subjects who liked the competitive mode also put significantly more effort into it than into the other modes. Results from impaired subjects were similar, with even impaired subjects over 60 years old enjoying competitive gameplay. The subjects' personalities roughly predicted which mode they would prefer, which was especially evident in a poorly-matched impaired pair that preferred the single-player mode.
CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate great potential for two-player rehabilitation games, in the form of greater enjoyment as well as potentially more intensive exercise compared to single-player games. However, the right game type needs to be chosen for each subject depending on skill and personality, along with selecting an appropriate co-player. Further studies with patients that are currently enrolled in rehabilitation programs are recommended, and the subjective measures used in our study should be augmented with objective measures such as electromyography.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Several strategies have been proposed to improve patient motivation and exercise intensity during robot-aided stroke rehabilitation. One relatively unexplored possibility is two-player gameplay, allowing subjects to compete or cooperate with each other to achieve a common goal. In order to explore the potential of such games, we designed a two-player game played using two ARMin arm rehabilitation robots.
METHODS: The game was an air-hockey task displayed on a computer monitor and controlled using shoulder movements in the ARMin robot. Three game modes were tested: single-player (competing against computer), competitive (competing against human), and cooperative (cooperating with human against computer). All modes were played by 30 unimpaired subjects and 8 impaired chronic stroke subjects. The subjects filled out the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory questionnaire after each game mode, as well as a final questionnaire about game preferences and their personality.
RESULTS: Nearly all unimpaired subjects preferred playing the two-player game modes to the single-player one, as they enjoyed talking and interacting with another person. However, there were two distinct player groups: one liked the competitive mode but not the cooperative mode while the other liked the cooperative but not the competitive mode. Unimpaired subjects who liked the competitive mode also put significantly more effort into it than into the other modes. Results from impaired subjects were similar, with even impaired subjects over 60 years old enjoying competitive gameplay. The subjects' personalities roughly predicted which mode they would prefer, which was especially evident in a poorly-matched impaired pair that preferred the single-player mode.
CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate great potential for two-player rehabilitation games, in the form of greater enjoyment as well as potentially more intensive exercise compared to single-player games. However, the right game type needs to be chosen for each subject depending on skill and personality, along with selecting an appropriate co-player. Further studies with patients that are currently enrolled in rehabilitation programs are recommended, and the subjective measures used in our study should be augmented with objective measures such as electromyography.

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11 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:April 2014
Deposited On:23 Jun 2014 14:16
Last Modified:31 Oct 2016 08:24
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1743-0003
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-0003-11-64
PubMed ID:24739255

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