Study: Telerehab improves functioning after stroke | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: Telerehab Improves Functioning After Stroke

May 29, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

Researchers at the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute have developed STeleR, a home telerehabilitation program that they are reporting can improve lower body physical functioning after a stroke. According to the researchers’ study, participating in STeleR also increased the likelihood of maintaining a regular fitness routine, enhanced money management skills, and improved the capability to prepare meals and take care of personal needs such as bathing.

The report, "Effects of Telerehabilitation on Physical Function and Disability for Stroke Patients" will appear online ahead of print publication in the August issue of the journal Stroke. The research was led by investigator Neale Chumbler, Ph.D., a research scientist with the Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence-Based Practice at the Richard Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.

"We know that post-stroke rehab is critically important," Dr. Chumbler said in a statement. "But for many veterans and others who experience a stroke, participating in supervised rehab can be difficult because they live far from a rehab facility. Even if distance isn't an impediment, getting someone to provide transportation may not be easy. Providing rehab in the home is costly, and the availability of qualified physical or occupational therapists may be limited, particularly in rural areas.

"We found that stroke survivors will participate in and can benefit from a telehealth system that enables therapists to deliver and monitor rehab in the patient's home from a remote location."

For the study, 52 veterans in the multisite study received care from VA medical centers in Atlanta, Durham, N.C., and Tampa, Fla. They were predominantly male, ethnically diverse, and had an average age of 67. Each had experienced an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke within the previous two years and lived in the community rather than in an institution. The study participants were randomized to usual care or the STeleR (short for stroke telerehab) intervention.

In the intervention part of the study, visits were made to the homes of those in the, during which a study team member used a camcorder to record physical and functional performance as well as discussed the home environment with the stroke survivor. An in-home messaging device that looks like a clock radio and plugs into a telephone line was installed and monitored weekly by a teletherapist who responded after reviewing information entered by the study patients. Over the three-month period, telephone calls between the teletherapist and the patient took place biweekly.

According to the researchers, most of the gains in physical functioning and other improvements occurred during the initial three months of the study but were maintained during the subsequent three months during which no STeleR services were provided.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Circulation, Buoy Health Collaborate on Integrated Platform for Patient Transportation

Boston-based startup Circulation Health, a ride-ordering exchange that coordinates medical transportation logistics using Lyft and other transportation partners, is partnering with Buoy Health, also based in Boston, to integrate their platforms to provide patients with an end-to-end healthcare experience.

HITRUST Provides NIST Cybersecurity Framework Certification

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), security and privacy standards development and accreditation organization, announced this week a certification program for the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (Framework).

Report: Interoperability in NHS England Faces Similar Barriers as U.S. Healthcare

Electronic patient record interoperability in NHS England is benefiting patient care, but interoperability efforts are facing barriers, including limited data sharing and cumbersome processes falling outside of the clinician workflow, according to a KLAS Research report.