The Fun, Interactive Therapy Board (FITBoard): A motivating, movement-based rehabilitation tool for children with disabilities (Northeastern University)

The Fun, Interactive Therapy Board (FITBoard): A motivating, movement-based rehabilitation tool for children with disabilitiesEmma Bobola, Nicholas Sullo, Romil Shah, Winston Ge, Monsurat Olaosobikan, Raymong Huang, Todd Roberts, Gino Jacob, Adam Perruzzi, Tammy Hunyh, Christopher Mohen, Cullen Lampazzo, Jose Castillo, David Yi, Immanual Mensah 

Children with physical and/or developmental disabilities participate in physical therapy and occupational therapy activity programs over extended periods to learn new skills and maintain strength and range of motion. Amount of practice is the biggest factor predicting rehabilitation success, but children find it challenging to adhere to boring activity programs. Lack of practice leads to functional deterioration and reduced quality of life. Using technologies such as virtual reality (VR) gaming systems in rehabilitation motivates children to enhance practice dosage. However, many VR systems are expensive and inaccessible to young children or those with significant disabilities. To address this issue, we have used game design principles to integrate the advantages of VR into an accessible, low-cost physical toy. The FITBoard (Fun, Interactive Therapy Board) is a rehabilitation tool consisting of a tablet and boards with touch keys to control sounds, videos or games. The FITBoard can motivate children to engage in repetitive practice of functional head, body, arm or leg movements, depending on its configuration. We are now determining FITBoard usability in a sample of children, parents, and therapists in 2 rehabilitation settings. We will assess users’ interaction with the FITBoard and evaluate factors that may impede or facilitate its use in rehabilitation. Our findings will inform future research. Ultimately, the FITBoard can be integrated into interventions to increase practice dosage, enhance outcomes and improve quality of life for children with disabilities.

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