Effectiveness of Tele-rehabilitation of Upper Extremity Injuries

By Thierry Lienou, OTD, OTR/L, CAPS, ATP

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Citation

Lienou T. Effectiveness of tele-rehabilitation of upper extremity injuries. HPHR. 2022;69. 

Effectiveness of Tele-rehabilitation of Upper Extremity Injuries

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This mini-review aimed to compare the outcomes of telerehabilitation and traditional rehabilitation while treating adults with upper-extremity orthopedic injuries. The literature search engines used to identify relevant studies included Medline, PubMed, Rehab data, Seeker, CINAHL, Google Scholar, EMBASE, and Science Direct. We critically appraised the selected articles using a quantitative review guideline. Video conferencing, digital systems, virtual exercise rehabilitation assistants, video/photo interface, over-the-phone supervision, virtual reality, and mobile applications were the telerehabilitation platforms used in the selected studies. These platforms were compared to traditional outpatient therapy, home exercise programs, face-to-face therapy, clinical models and evaluation, and goniometric measurements. Of the 10 studies that met our inclusion and exclusion criteria, 6 demonstrated that telerehabilitation is either equivalent or superior to traditional rehabilitation. Two of the remaining 4 studies compared levels of agreement for the objective measures of telerehabilitation and traditional rehabilitation. The last 2 studies did not compare the outcomes of both methods because of the study design and absence of control groups. This review provides preliminary information to guide occupational therapists when using telerehabilitation to treat individuals in remote areas or those who cannot travel to their therapy appointments.

About the Author

Thierry Lienou, OTD, OTR/L, CAPS, ATP