Improving movement confidence of people with dementia using gaming

Arlene J. Astell*, Erica Dove

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: People living with dementia face increased risk of falls due to balance impairment and falling-related psychological factors, such as fear of falling and lack of confidence. Improving movement confidence could improve balance and impact fall risk. This study set out to examine movement confidence of people living with dementia while playing a digital bowling game. 

Method: Sixty-six people (34F/32M) with dementia (mean MoCA 12.7/30), completed a formal balance measure (mini-BEST or Sharpened Romberg) before and after participating in a 20-session (2x per week) digital bowling game. Samples of video recordings of the bowling sessions were analysed by two raters, using a coding scheme developed to examine movement confidence. 

Result: Formal balance measures confirmed that the majority of participants were substantially impaired in several domains, including reactive postural control (mini-BEST) and balance with eyes open (Sharpened Romberg). By contrast movement confidence during game play started at a high level in several domains such as optimal walking and fluency of motion and remained high throughout. 

Conclusion: Movement confidence can be observed when people with dementia are playing a physical game and contrasts with their performance on formal measures. This may be due to game playing focusing attention onto the game activity, whereas formal assessment focuses on completing the specific movements under assessment. The results highlight the potential of exergames to improve movement confidence and target balance to reduce fall risk of people living with dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere067538
Number of pages2
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue numberS8
Early online date20 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventAlzheimer's Association International Conference 2022 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 31 Jul 20224 Aug 2022

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