Purpose: Regular daily exercise is recognized as important in patients with heart failure (HF), but adherence to exercise recommendations is low. It is important to search for alternative approaches to motivate patients with HF to be more active. The use of exergames (games to improve physical exercise) might be an encouragement for HF patients, especially for people who may be reluctant to engage in more traditional forms of exercise, such as going to the gym or take a walk outside. The aim of this study is to assess the self-reported time playing on the Wii exergame platform when patients get access to the Wii at home for 12 weeks and the factors related to the time playing.
Methods: As part of a feasibility study, the Wii was installed in the home of HF patients for a period of 12 weeks and patients were instructed to exergame 20 minutes a day (e.g. virtual bowling or tennis). Patients completed a diary which contained questions about the amount of minutes exergaming, heart failure symptoms and perceived exertion. At baseline and 12 weeks the physical capacity was assessed by 6minute walking test. We compared patients who played more than the median amount of minutes on the Wii with patients who played less than the median time.
Results: Thirty-two HF patients (age 64 ± 14, 10 female) were included. The mean time exergaming was 28 (±13) minutes a day (median of 27 minutes). Two patients stopped exergaming during the study. Men played more minutes a day on the Wii (31 minutes) than women (20 minutes), (t =2.243, p <.033) which could not be explained by age. Both male and female patients decreased in time exergaming, comparing the first 6 weeks access to the Wii with the last 6 weeks, but no differences were found in the amount of minutes decrease in exergaming (-5±9) between man and women. Patients who played more than the median time were significant lower educated, had a lower NYHA class and had more often grandchildren than patients who exergamed less than the median time. No association could be found between the groups in exercise capacity, motivation, self-efficacy, symptoms experience, perceived exertion with time exergaming.
Conclusion: Patients with HF played a considerable time active games on the Wii during 12 months of access to the Wii. Although women exergamed less than men, they did not decrease more in playing then men during the study. Patients who increased more than the median amount of minutes exergaming had a lower educational level, lower NYHA class, and more patients had grandchildren than patients who exergamed less. Access to exergames seem to be a promising to keep HF patients motivated to be active and to provide social facilitation with grandchildren.
Lisbon: none , 2013.