Sage Professor Gras' Research Challenges Wii Fit

May 11, 2010 at 9:02 am

Dr. Laura Gras, associate professor of physical therapy at The Sage Colleges, recently published "Reliability and Validity of the Nintendo Wii Fit" in the international journal, Journal of Cybertherapy and Rehabilitation (www.vrphobia.eu) with current Department of Physical Therapy students, Elizabeth Hine and Audrey Hummer.

The focus of this research is to examine if the Center of Balance and Body Control tests on the popular Wii Fit game ( http://wiifit.com/body-test/#balance ) are reliable and valid tests that physical therapists can use to document their patients outcomes. These tests were compared to the EquiTest, a gold standard used for balance testing. The research shows that the Wii Fit balance tests were not reliable or valid and should not be used as balance assessments when documenting patient outcomes.

This research was also presented at APTA's Combined Sections Meeting in San Diego, CA along with "The Use of a Lighted Tilted Frame with Two Individuals who had a Cerebral Vascular Accident" with DPT alumni Janelle Martin and Tracy Surprenant.

Gras received her doctor of science degree in physical therapy with a specialization in geriatrics. She has her master's degree in health service administration and a gerontology certificate through Sage Graduate School. Laura is a board certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy and specializes in geriatric rehabilitation, especially with adult neurological problems. Gras' primary teaching responsibility is in neuromuscular rehabilitation and research. Her research interests include lighting interventions to prevent falls in the elderly, stroke rehabilitation, balance and exercise for the geriatric population.

Gras recently received a grant through the National Institutes of Health along with Dr. Mary Rea, associate professor and chair of the Department of Biology.