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Assessing the Impact of Telerehabilitation on Physical Function and Quality of Life in Osteoarthritis Patients

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A recent systematic review focuses on the impact of telerehabilitation on physical activity, physical function, and quality of life in patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The study delves into randomized controlled trial studies, using a comprehensive array of keywords to search across scientific databases such as Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed. The systematic approach of the review adheres to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

The articles included in the review were selected based on a set of inclusion, exclusion, and quality assessment criteria. Any disputes regarding the selection were resolved through discussion, ensuring a robust review process. A total of eight articles were found to be eligible for the review, which covered a diverse range of approaches.

Three categories of telerehabilitation approaches were identified, namely, home-based exercise programs facilitated by online mobile applications, sports counseling, physiotherapist support via telephone calls, and Internet-based exercise training (IBET). The review provides an in-depth look into these categories and their effectiveness in treating osteoarthritis.


Comparing Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Telerehabilitation versus Traditional Physiotherapy

The study reveals that in 57% of the cases, telerehabilitation proved to be effective in the short term, improving the performance, self-efficacy, and quality of life of patients. However, in terms of long-term effects, the improvement in participants was not significantly different (43%). The review notes that the efficiency of traditional rehabilitation and telerehabilitation in improving physical performance and quality of life was found to be similar in long-term follow-ups.

Despite the noted similarities in efficiency, the study concludes that telerehabilitation could potentially serve as a viable alternative to traditional physiotherapy for patients suffering from osteoarthritis. This finding could pave the way for more accessible and cost-effective treatment options for osteoarthritis patients.


Original Article DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_1586_22

Original title: The effect of telerehabilitation on improving the physical activity of patients with osteoarthritis: A systematic review

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