Real-time telerehabilitation for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions is effective and comparable to standard practice: a systematic review & meta-analysis

Cottrell, Michelle A., Galea, Olivia A., O'Leary, Shaun P., Hill, Anne J. and Russell, Trevor G. (2016) Real-time telerehabilitation for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions is effective and comparable to standard practice: a systematic review & meta-analysis. Clinical Rehabilitation, . doi:10.1177/0269215516645148


Author Cottrell, Michelle A.
Galea, Olivia A.
O'Leary, Shaun P.
Hill, Anne J.
Russell, Trevor G.
Title Real-time telerehabilitation for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions is effective and comparable to standard practice: a systematic review & meta-analysis
Journal name Clinical Rehabilitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0269-2155
1477-0873
Publication date 2016-05-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0269215516645148
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of treatment delivered via real-time telerehabilitation for the management of musculoskeletal conditions, and to determine if real-time telerehabilitation is comparable to conventional methods of delivery within this population.

Data sources: Six databases (Medline, Embase, Cochrane CENTRAL, PEDro, psycINFO, CINAHL) were searched from inception to November 2015 for literature which reported on the outcomes of real-time telerehabilitation for musculoskeletal conditions.

Review methods: Two reviewers screened 5913 abstracts where 13 studies (n = 1520) met the eligibility criteria. Methodological quality was assessed using the Downs & Black ‘Checklist for Measuring Quality’ tool. Results were pooled for meta-analysis based upon primary outcome measures and reported as standardised mean differences and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results: Aggregate results suggest that telerehabilitation is effective in the improvement of physical function (SMD 1.63, 95%CI 0.92-2.33, I2=93%), whilst being slightly more favourable (SMD 0.44, 95%CI 0.19-0.69, I2=58%) than the control cohort following intervention. Sub-group analyses reveals that telerehabilitation in addition to usual care is more favourable (SMD 0.64, 95%CI 0.43-0.85, I2=10%) than usual care alone, whilst treatment delivered solely via telerehabilitation is equivalent to face-to-face intervention (SMD MD 0.14, 95% CI −0.10–0.37, I2 = 0%) for the improvement of physical function. The improvement of pain was also seen to be comparable between cohorts (SMD 0.66, 95%CI −0.27–1.60, I2=96%) following intervention.

Conclusions: Real-time telerehabilitation appears to be effective and comparable to conventional methods of healthcare delivery for the improvement of physical function and pain in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.
Keyword Telemedicine
Telerehabilitation
Musculoskeletal disorders
Systematic review
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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Created: Wed, 08 Mar 2017, 14:08:21 EST by Dr Anne Hill on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences