Stroke Rehabilitation: What Does Telehealth Have to Do With It?
A recent study completed by the University of California, Irvine, reported that individuals who had experienced a stroke, saw as much improvement in their mobility through telerehabilitation sessions, those provided with coaching through video calls over the computer and other specialized tracking tools, as those traveling to complete rehab in-person.
The study, presented at the 2018 European Stroke Conference in Sweden, was a multicenter trial involving over 120 stroke survivors as participants. Study participants were an average of 61 years old and 4.5 months post stroke. They completed 6 weeks of intensive hand and arm therapy, half in a clinic setting and half in a supervised program at home via a telerehab video system.
Both groups improved in their motor function scores, the clinic group saw an 8.4 point increase and the telerehab group saw a 7.9 point increase on the Fugl Meyer, a standardized assessment of hand and arm function. This wasn’t a statistically significant difference but an increase in function, nonetheless, and very close to the same increase the clinic group experienced.
With an aging population, it is thought that the need for this type of service will only increase over time. Future studies plan to look at longer term treatment and including gait and language. The big bonus in using telerehab as an option for stroke recovery is, of course, encouraging patients to stay engaged in their rehabilitation.
“Getting patients to remain engaged and comply with therapy is a key measure of success of any rehabilitation program,” Cramer said. “Greater gains are associated with therapy that is challenging, motivating, accompanied by appropriate feedback, interesting and relevant. Telerehab achieves this because therapy is provided through games, provides user feedback, can be adjusted based on individual needs, is easy to use – and is fun.”
DID YOU KNOW? RAPAEL Smart Rehab Solutions such as the Smart Glove, Smart Kids and Smart Board, use the same sort of telerehab support for training and coaching our users. All new users have access to an occupational therapist on our team that can customize your rehabilitation to get you started on the right foot! Contact us to get started with your Rapael Smart Rehab + telerehab support today!