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MSU study uses video game to help lung cancer patients recover from surgery

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan State Universityresearchers say a popular video game is helping patients recover from lung cancer surgery.

After surgery, it’s important for lung cancer patients to aid their recovery with exercise.   Exercise helps patients with fatigue and avoid common complications, like pneumonia.   But the prospect of exercise can be daunting for many patients.

MSU nursing researcher Amy Hoffman says they’ve been using a Wii video game program to help patients through a light-intensity, self –paced series of walking and balancing exercises.

“It really gets people engaged in being able to exercise in that enjoyable format,” says Hoffman.

Hoffman says many patients continue to use the Wii Fit program even as they undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

MSU hopes to eventually expand the use of video games for post-surgical rehabilitative therapy.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.