The effects and safety of telerehabilitation in patients with lower-limb joint replacement : a systematic review and narrative synthesis
Jansson, Miia M; Rantala, Arja; Miettunen, Jouko; Puhto, Ari-Pekka; Pikkarainen, Minna (2020-04-21)
Jansson, M. M., Rantala, A., Miettunen, J., Puhto, A.-P., & Pikkarainen, M. (2022). The effects and safety of telerehabilitation in patients with lower-limb joint replacement: A systematic review and narrative synthesis. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 28(2), 96–114. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X20917868
© 2020 The Authros. Publishing rights Sage. The final authenticated version is available online https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X20917868.
Introduction: As the number of patients undergoing primary lower-limb joint replacement has risen continuously, hospital-based healthcare resources have become limited. Delivery of any ongoing rehabilitation needs to adapt to this trend. This systematic literature aimed to examine the effects and safety of telerehabilitation in patients with lower-limb joint replacement.
Methods: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials was conducted according to procedures by the Joanna Briggs Institute. Studies published prior to February 2020 were identified from Medline Ovid, Scopus, Ebsco Databases and Web of Science. Reference lists of relevant studies were also manually checked to find additional studies. Two researchers conducted study selection separately. The Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist for Randomized Controlled Trials was used to evaluate the quality of the relevant studies published. A narrative synthesis was used to report the results whereas effect sizes were estimated for different outcomes.
Results: Nine studies with 1266 patients were included. Study quality was predominantly affected by the lack of blinding. The patients who completed telerehabilitation showed an improvement in physical functioning that was similar to that of patients completing conventional in-person outpatient physical therapy without an increase in adverse events or resource utilization. The effect of telerehabilitation on physical functioning, however, was assessed as heterogeneous and moderate- to low-quality evidence.
Discussion: Telerehabilitation is a practical alternative to conventional in-person outpatient physical therapy in patients with lower-limb joint replacement. However, more robust studies are needed to build evidence about telerehabilitation.
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