Video home exercise programs after stroke

Smart technology is increasingly accessible.  Tools that are readily available on the smart phones and tablets that patients are commonly carrying in their pockets or handbags have potential to improve the experience and outcomes of rehabilitation.  This project aimed to test whether the video and reminder functions on these devices can be used to improve adherence and outcomes of home exercise programs. A trial led by Kellie Emmerson allocated people recovering from stroke randomly assigned participants to receive home exercise programs using video on a tablet device or with traditional paper instruction.

The trial showed that both methods of home exercise prescription were equally effective in relation to adherence and patient outcomes.  However, qualitative data obtained through interviews with people in the intervention group indicated that there were other benefits to using technology, such as the ability to look back on progress, share the rehabilitation experience with family and benefits for patients with visual or cognitive deficits who require support to follow a written program. Patients who already owned and used these devices in daily life were particularly receptive to the use of technology.

Emmerson KB, Harding KE, Taylor NF. Home exercise programmes supported by video and automated reminders compared with standard paper-based home exercise programmes in patients with stroke: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical rehabilitation. 2017;31(8):1068-77.

Emmerson KB, Harding KE, Lockwood KJ, Taylor NF. (in press). Home exercise programs supported by video and automated reminders for patients with stroke: A qualitative analysis. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal