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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

The Effects of Game-Based Breathing Exercise on Pulmonary Function in Stroke Patients: A Preliminary Study

Sunghee Joo, Doochul Shin, Changho Song

Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Sahmyook University, Seoul, South Korea

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1806-1811

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.893420

Available online: 2015-06-22

Published: 2015-06-22


BACKGROUND: Reduction of respiratory function along with hemiparesis leads to decreased endurance, dyspnea, and increased sedentary behavior, as well as to an increased risk of stroke. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the preliminary effects of game-based breathing exercise (GBE) on pulmonary function in stroke patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirty-eight in-patients with stroke (22 men, 16 women) were recruited for the study. Participants were randomly allocated into 2 groups: patients assigned to the GBE group (n=19), and the control group (n=19). The GBE group participated in a GBE program for 25 minutes a day, 3 days a week, during a 5 week period. For the same period, both groups participated in a conventional stroke rehabilitation program. Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1), FEV1/FVC, and maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV) were measured by a spirometer in pre- and post-testing.
RESULTS: The GBE group had significantly improved FVC, FEV1, and MVV values compared with the control group (p<0.05), although there was no significant difference in FEV1/FVC value between groups. Significant short-term effects of the GBE program on pulmonary function in stroke patients were recorded in this study.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings gave some indications that it may be feasible to include GBE in rehabilitation interventions with this population.

Keywords: Breathing Exercises - methods, Biofeedback, Psychology - methods, Forced Expiratory Volume, Lung - physiology, Maximal Voluntary Ventilation, Respiration, Spirometry, Stroke - therapy, Video Games, Vital Capacity