Logo for the Journal of Rehab R and D

Volume 45 Number 9, 2008
   Pages 1361 — 1374

Abstract - Home-based physical telerehabilitation in patients with multiple sclerosis: A pilot study

Joseph Finkelstein, MD, PhD;1-2* Oleg Lapshin, MD, MPH;2 Heather Castro, MS;2 Eunme Cha, MPH;2 Patricia G . Provance, PT, MSCS2

1Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence, Baltimore Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore, MD; 2Chronic Disease Informatics Group, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Abstract — This study assessed feasibility and patient acceptance and estimated the magnitude of the clinical impact of physical telerehabilitation in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). We recruited 12 consecutive patients with a known diagnosis of MS. Each patient received a custom-tailored rehabilitative exercise program prescribed by a physical therapist during a clinic visit. The patients were guided by the home telecare units in following their individualized exercise plan. After the patients used the physical telerehabilitation system for 12 weeks, a statistically significant improvement was shown in a timed 25-foot walk (from 13.8 +/- 8.3 s to 11.3 +/- 5.4 s), 6-minute walk (from 683.3 +/- 463.8 ft to 806.5 +/- 415.0 ft), and Berg Balance Scale score (from 38.8 +/- 11.1 to 43.1 +/- 9.9) as compared with the baseline. (Values are shown as mean +/- standard deviation.) Patients were highly satisfied with the service. Home-based physical telerehabilitation can improve functional outcomes significantly in patients with MS.

Key words: disease management, e-health, multiple sclerosis, patient-centered care, patient satisfaction, patient self-care, physical therapy, rehabilitation, telemedicine, telerehabilitation.

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