This review looks at how real-time telerehabilitation for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions is effective and comparable to standard practice.
Aims of the project:
- To evaluate the effectiveness of telerehabilitation for the management of muscle injuries and pain
- To determine how telerehabilitation compares to face-to-face treatment.
Publication details: Published in Clinical Rehabilitation 2017, Vol. 31(5) 625-638. Cottrell MA, Galea OA, O’Leary SP, Hill AJ and Russell TG.
- School of Health and Rehabilitation Science; Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth - University of Queensland
- Physiotherapy Department, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
- Chronic pain can be a serious burden affecting all aspects of life and contributes to diminished quality of life
- Chronic musculoskeletal conditions are a leading cause of pain and disability
- There is a growing body of evidence recognizing the importance of psychological interventions, such as motivational interviewing, in chronic musculoskeletal pain population
- Telerehabilitation may be useful in the management of chronic pain.
- Results suggest that telerehabilitation:
- is effective in the improvement of physical function
- combined with usual care is more favourable than usual care alone
- is equivalent to face-to-face treatment for physical function
- The biopsychosocial model is considered best practice with a key component of active self-management
Improvement of pain was also comparable between the two groups.
- Regardless of the condition, telerehabilitation intervention or the medium used, the improvement of pain was comparable between cohorts
- This review provides further support to previous positive results for the use of telerehabilitation in the management of musculoskeletal conditions
- further rigorous clinical trials should consider how telerehabilitation impacts self-efficacy in chronic conditions
- Caution needs to be taken generalising these findings.
- In the management of a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, telerehabilitation:
- is considered to be a viable option
- appears to be superior when compared to current standard practice for the improvement of physical function
- is equivalent, and not inferior, to face-to-face care in physiotherapy management in a total knee arthroplasty population
- Telerehabilitation may be used to overcome issues with access to face-to-face care (eg. rural and remote locations).
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