UBC Graduate Research

Usability testing of gaming and social media applications for stroke and cerebral palsy upper limb rehabilitation Valdés, Bulmaro A.; Hilderman, Courtney G. E.; Hung, Chai-Ting; Shirzad, Navid; Van der Loos, H. F. Machiel


As part of the FEATHERS (Functional Engagement in Assisted Therapy Through Exercise Robotics) project, two motion tracking and one social networking applications were developed for upper limb rehabilitation of stroke survivors and teenagers with cerebral palsy. The project aims to improve the engagement of clients during therapy by using video games and a social media platform. The applications allow users to control a cursor on a personal computer through bimanual motions, and to interact with their peers and therapists through the social media. The tracking applications use either a Microsoft Kinect or a PlayStation Eye camera, and the social media application was developed on Facebook. This paper presents a usability testing of these applications that was conducted with therapists from two rehabilitation clinics. The “Cognitive Walkthrough” and “Think Aloud” methods were used. The objectives of the study were to investigate the ease of use and potential issues or improvements of the applications, as well as the factors that facilitate and impede the adoption of technology in current rehabilitation programs.

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