The efficacy of tele-rehabilitation program for improving upper limb function among adults following elbow fractures: A pilot study

Naomi Mayer, Sigal Portnoy, Ram Palti, Yafa Levanon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Active mobilization post-elbow fractures reduces the incidence of complications. Occupational therapists use tele-rehabilitation, incorporating technology into their practices. There is a lack of evidence-based trials regarding the integration of tele-rehabilitation during treatment. We therefore aimed to compare tele-rehabilitation treatment outcomes with conventional rehabilitation in improving the upper limb function post-elbow fractures. Methods: Eighteen participants post-elbow surgery due to fracture were divided into two groups according to age and fracture type. The groups received one month of treatment: the tele-rehabilitation group (N = 9, median age 33.0 ± 27.9 years, range 18.5-61.0) received 1-2 tele-rehabilitation treatments per week via a biofeedback system of elbow motion (the ArmTutor and 3D Tutor systems, MediTouch Ltd, Netanya, Israel) and 1-2 treatments in an outpatient clinic, and the control group (N = 9, median age 60.0 ± 37.0 years, range 20.5-73.0) received 3-4 treatments per week in the clinic. Both groups were instructed to self-practice at home. Four evaluations were performed: before and after the intervention, and 3 months and 1 year from surgery. The outcome measures included the Jebsen-Taylor hand function test; the disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand questionnaire; the patient-rated elbow evaluation; satisfaction; passive and active range of motion (ROM); and strength measurements. Results: Findings demonstrated a significant improvement in the ROM and in functional assessments in both groups. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups. The subjects in the tele-rehabilitation group reported a higher level of satisfaction and needed less help from a family member during practice. Conclusion: Telerehabilitation programs could be incorporated in the framework of treatment following elbow fractures. Tele-rehabilitation is a cost-effective treatment, suitable for patients with accessibility difficulties or who have difficulty arriving at the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1708
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arthrolysis
  • Biofeedback
  • Elbow
  • Tele-rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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