Prosthesis Users Want Immersive Game-based Rehab

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A team of researchers surveyed people with upper-limb difference and other researchers to test a hypothesis that there are considerable differences between the views of prosthesis end users and researchers with regard to engaging aspects of a game. Responses from the participants with limb difference group indicated that they would like a prosthetic training tool that makes rehabilitation feel less like rehabilitation. This was reflected in the call of the researchers for immersion in the game, which allowed the users to shift from their limbs and muscles to the task at hand, allowing the motions to become intuitive, the study's authors noted.

Fourteen people with limb difference and 12 researchers participated. Both groups answered open and closed questions and completed a questionnaire to assess their user types. Answers fell within the themes of usability, training, and game design. Researchers also shared their views on current challenges and what could be done to address them.

The respondents all showed a general willingness and tentative optimism toward the topic, and they acknowledged hurdles limiting the adoption of these games by clinics and users, according to the study.

The results also indicated a difference between researchers and people with limb difference in their game preferences, which could lead to design choices that do not represent the target audience.

The open-access study, "Perception of Game-Based Rehabilitation in Upper Limb Prosthetic Training: Survey of Users and Researchers," was published in JMIR Serious Games.