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Nursing researcher uses Nintendo Wii to fight cancer-related fatigue
Date:7/16/2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. With the support of a $379,741 grant from the National Cancer Institute and the Nintendo Wii game system, nursing researcher Amy Hoffman aims to help lung cancer patients reduce fatigue and get more exercise as they transition from the hospital to the home after surgery.

The most common type of lung cancer affecting 85 percent of those diagnosed is non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, said Hoffman of Michigan State University's College of Nursing. Patients face significant, life-limiting health issues from the disease and its treatment.

Additionally, patients with acute and chronic illness, particularly cancer, report that self-management of symptoms are a common challenge.

"Nearly half of all Americans live with at least one chronic illness, and nearly a quarter of Americans having multiple chronic illnesses," Hoffman said. "The needs of the chronically ill are not being met, and a common challenge noted by patients with cancer is self-management of symptoms."

While surgery is the most common treatment for earlier-stage NSCLC, no formal guidelines currently exist for routine rehabilitative support following lung cancer surgery. Research shows that designing services for the hospital to home transition provides health care continuity and avoids preventable poor outcomes.

A rehabilitation program created by Hoffman incorporates the use of the Nintendo Wii-Fit Plus as a way to promote light-intensity, self-paced walking and balance exercise to address cancer-related fatigue. The Wii-Fit program provides patients with a home-based exercise alternative without the barriers of travel or weather.

Two of the most common NSCLC post-operative complications occurring within the first 30 days of surgery are lung collapse and pneumonia. Hoffman's program aims to help protect the patient's recovery by pre-empting postoperative complications.

"This is where my research team is making a d
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Contact: Jason Cody
codyja@msu.edu
517-432-0924
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

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