Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Older adults' experience of active computer gaming for falls prevention exercise: a mixed methods study

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-05-05, 14:50 authored by Sarah C Howes, Iseult M Wilson, Katy Pedlow, Dominic Holmes, Darryl K Charles, Suzanne McDonoughSuzanne McDonough

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.


Department of Employment and Learning



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Howes SC. et al. Older adults’ experience of active computer gaming for falls prevention exercise: a mixed methods study. Physiotherapy Practice and Research 2021;42(2)173-183

Publication Date

10 December 2021


  • School of Physiotherapy

Research Area

  • Population Health and Health Services


IOS Press


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)