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Telerehabilitation allows accurate assessment of patients with low back pain
Date:5/20/2013

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 e
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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