Pain, Helen, Soopramanien, Anba, Dallolio, Laura, Prior, Reinhard, Menarini, Mauro, Ventura, Manfredi, Fantini, Maria Pia and Stainthorpe, Andrew
Outcomes from a randomized controlled trial of tele-rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries
Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 13, (Supplement 1), . (doi:10.1258/135763307781645095).
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A randomized controlled trial was conducted in spinal treatment centres in three European countries to evaluate the effectiveness of using Internet-based video-link technology in the first six months after patients were discharged following spinal cord injury. Standardised measures were used with participants prior to randomization to either trial or control group. Both groups received standard post-discharge support, but in addition the trial group had regular videoconference sessions. Each participant received an assessment at two months' and six months' post-discharge. The 137 participants recruited over two years had a mean age of 42 years. Interim data analysis with 77 patients revealed a significant difference between the trial and control groups when quality of life intra-subject score differences between discharge and month 6 were compared (P = 0.025). Medical complications were not significantly different between trial and control groups. The video-link was well received by the trial group, who preferred to see the person they conversed with. Regular expert consultation using video-link technology benefited participants' quality of life.
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