Navigation Links
Telerehabilitation allows accurate assessment of patients with low back pain

Philadelphia, Pa. (May 20, 2013) - A new "telerehabilitation" approach lets physical therapists assess patients with low back pain (LBP) over the Internet, with good accuracy compared with face-to-face examinations, reports a study in the May 15 issue of Spine. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Taking advantage of Skype and other widely-used services may make telerehabilitation a more feasible alternative to in-person clinic visits, according to the new research by Prof. Manuel Arroyo-Morales and colleagues of University of Granada, Spain. They believe their results "give preliminary support to the implementation of web-based LBP assessment systems using video recordings that can be evaluated by different therapists."

Can Back Pain Assessments Be Performed Over the Internet?

The researchers designed and evaluated a web-based telerehabilitation system for performing routine clinical assessments of patients with LBP. The telerehabilitation setup operated across a low-bandwidth Internet connection between two personal computers equipped with webcams.

The system included the popular Skype videoconferencing service, allowing the patient and physical therapist could see and talk to each other in real time. The therapist guided the patient in performing specific movements, and captured video clips for analysis using video motion analysis software (Kinovea). The therapist and patient were also able to complete standard back pain questionnaires using the web-based system.

Fifteen patients with chronic LBP underwent two assessments in random order: once face-to-face and once using the telerehabilitation setup. Accuracy was assessed by comparing the results of telerehabilitation assessment with those of in-person assessment.

The results showed good agreement between the two evaluations, supporting the use of telerehabilitation for clinical assessment of LBP. There was good correlation for measures made on video motion analysis, such as spine mobility and back muscle endurance; as well as questionnaire-based assessments such as disability, pain, and health-related quality of life.

Skype and Other Tools Make Telerehabilitation More Feasible

The telerehabilitation setup showed consistent results for the same therapist at different times (intra-rater reliability) as well as for assessment by independent therapists (inter-rater reliability).

There is growing interest in Internet-based systems for assessment of patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Telerehabilitation approaches could be especially valuable for patient in rural or remote areas, who don't have easy access to healthcare providers.

In the past, the use of telerehabilitation was limited by high equipment costs. The new study shows the successful use of telerehabilitation using widely available and familiar technology, including the use of free software such as Skype.

The telerehabilitation system evaluated in the new study may be useful in assessing patients with the very common problem of LBP, showing good agreement with the results of face-to-face assessment. However, there are still some factors limiting more widespread useincluding the need for "potentially unwieldy" security software to protect patient privacy.

Prof. Arroyo-Morales and coauthors also note that many patients who would otherwise have been eligible for the study weren't included because of a lack of familiarity and experience with computers. The researchers call for further studies in larger groups of patientsfocusing on those who don't have easy access to in-person evaluations.


Contact: Connie Hughes
Wolters Kluwer Health

Related medicine news :

1. Simulation technology allows users to safely practice phacoemulsification cataract surgery
2. Loss of protein SPDEF allows prostate cancer cells to gain foothold at possible sites of metastasis
3. Undergoing multiple ACL surgeries allows patients to regain basic function, but not full activity
4. Accuracy of narrow band imaging with colonoscopy allows for distal non-cancerous polyps to be left in place
5. Does gallows humor among physicians encourage accusations of murder and euthanasia?
6. Kinsey Reporter: Free app allows public to anonymously report, share information on sexual behavior
7. Scientists at IRB BARCELONA discover a key process that allows colon cancer to metastasize
8. New technology allows scientists to capture and preserve cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream
9. All Energy Solar Now Allows Clients To Track Solar System Energy Performance
10. Robot allows remote presence in programming brain and spine stimulators
11. DrugRisk Update: Court Allows Charges of Prior Fraud Into Pradaxa Lawsuit
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn ... specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand ... all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of ... too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the ... Research from reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening ... Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to ... at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased to announce the placement of ... President of North American Capital Sales at HTG Molecular . , ... the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated reagents in North America. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation , ... Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard Medical ... Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and the ... five finalists of Lyme Innovation , the ... 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ANDOVER, Mass. and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. ... California -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now ... portable PFT devices developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... PFT testing done in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ... CA , can get any needed testing done in the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a ... invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today ... The Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, ... and other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will ... and the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: