Feasibility and effect of interactive telerehabilitation on balance in individuals with chronic stroke: a pilot study
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Stroke survivors need continuing exercise intervention to maintain functional status. This study assessed the feasibility and efficacy of an interactive telerehabilitation exergaming system to improve balance in individuals with chronic stroke, compared to conventional one-on-one rehabilitation. In this prospective case-control pilot study, 30 Taiwanese individuals with chronic stroke were enrolled and randomly allocated to an experimental group and a control group. All participants received
... ervention 3 times per week for 4 weeks in the study hospital. The experiment group underwent telerehabilitation using a Kinect camera-based interactive telerehabilitation system in an independent room to simulate home environment. In contrast, the control group received conventional one-on-one physiotherapy in a dedicated rehabilitation area. The effectiveness of interactive telerehabilitation in improving balance in stroke survivors was evaluated by comparing outcomes between the two groups. The primary outcome was Berg Balance Scale (BBS) scores. Secondary outcomes were performance of the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, Modified Falls Efficacy Scale, Motricity Index, and Functional Ambulation Category. Comparison of outcomes between experimental and control groups revealed no significant differences between groups at baseline and post-intervention for all outcome measures. However, BBS scores improved significantly in both groups (control group: p = 0.01, effect size = 0.49; experimental group: p = 0.01, effect size = 0.70). Completion times of TUG tests also improved significantly in the experimental group (p = 0.005, effect size = 0.70). The Kinect camera-based interactive telerehabilitation system demonstrates superior or equal efficacy compared to conventional one-on-one physiotherapy for improving balance in individuals with chronic stroke. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov. NCT03698357. Registered October 4, 2018, retrospectively registered.