Serious Game for Fine Motor Control Rehabilitation for Children With Epileptic Encephalopathy: Development and Usability Study

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Background: Epileptic encephalopathy (EE) is defined as the presence of frequent epileptiform activity that adversely impacts development, typically causing the slowing or regression of developmental skills, and is usually associated with frequent seizures. One of the main disturbances in EE is in the coordination of the upper extremities and hands. Traditional rehabilitation for this type of pathology focuses on the alleviation of gross or fine motor disability. In the last few years, the use of low-cost devices together with customized serious games has shown improvements in motor disorders and enrichments in activities of daily living. Objective: This study aims to explore the feasibility of a new serious game for improving fine motor control in children with EE. Methods: The participants were 4 children with EE (male: n=2, 50%; female: n=2, 50%) who were classified as belonging to level 1 in the Gross Motor Classification System. The children were tested over 10 sessions during the intervention period (before and after treatment). The clinical tests performed were the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd edition and Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale. The subscales of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd edition were fine motor precision, fine motor integration, manual dexterity, and upper-limb coordination. At the end of the first session, we used the User Satisfaction Evaluation Questionnaire to analyze user satisfaction. Results: The significance outcomes for a Student t test (1-tailed) were as follows: P=.009 for fine motor precision, P=.002 for fine motor integration, P=.56 for manual dexterity, and P=.99 for upper-limb coordination. The participation rate as measured using the Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale was between good and very good, which means that, based on the therapist’s evaluation, interest, independence, and motivation were achieved by each participant. The mean User Satisfaction Evaluation Questionnaire score was close to 30, which is the maximum value. Conclusions: The results support the use of the proposed serious game as a complement in therapeutic sessions during the rehabilitation processes for children with EE. Significant improvements in fine motor control and activities of daily living revealed that the proposed serious game is beneficial for fine motor disorders of this pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere50492
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©Elizabeth Vidal, Eveling Castro-Gutierrez, Robert Arisaca, Alfredo Paz-Valderrama, Sergio Albiol-Pérez.


  • children with epileptic encephalopathy
  • ecologic virtual system
  • fine motor rehabilitation
  • rare diseases
  • serious game
  • virtual motor rehabilitation
  • virtual reality


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