Older adults’ experience of active computer gaming for falls prevention exercise: A mixed methods study

Sarah Howes, Iseult M. Wilson, Katy Pedlow, Dominic Holmes, Darryl K. Charles, Suzanne M. McDonough

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PURPOSE: This mixed methods study explored older adults’ experience using a bespoke active computer gaming (ACG) system designed to deliver falls prevention exercise. METHODS: Usability, acceptability and safety were evaluated through observation of system use, questionnaires, in-system ratings, and semi-structured interviews. Quantitative and qualitative data were synthesised concurrently to provide a deeper understanding of older adults’ experience with the system. RESULTS: N = 7 older adults (aged 73–88 years, most with increased fear of falling, and over half with reduced physical functioning) completed up to six uses of the system. Observations and qualitative feedback suggested that older adults’ experience with the system was influenced by physical health changes associated with ageing. Overall feedback after using the system was positive. Social support, from either the clinician or a peer, was a key theme influencing experience. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggested that autonomous use of the system may not be feasible given the requirement and preference for social support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiotherapy Practice and Research
Issue number2
Early online date26 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 10 Dec 2021

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  • Balance
  • exergaming
  • ageing
  • falls prevention


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