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STeleR study: Telerehab improves functioning after stroke
Date:5/29/2012

n the community rather than in an institution. The study participants were randomized to usual care or the STeleR (short for stroke telerehab) intervention.

Three hourlong visits were made to the homes of those in the intervention arm of the study, 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. Both STeleR and usual care group participants received routine VA care as directed by their health care providers.

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.

"STeleR has potential to be a useful supplement to traditional post-stroke rehabilitation, given the limited resources available for in-home rehabilitation for stroke survivors," Dr. Chumbler said. "STeleR or a similar telehealth program could be an important way to overcome access barriers and may be particularly useful for reaching vulnerable patient groups, such as individuals from a lower socioeconomic status and those who live in a rural area."


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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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