Telehealth for Stroke

Original Editor - Arnold Fredrick D'Souza Top Contributors - Arnold Fredrick D'Souza
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Introduction[edit | edit source]

There is a global rise in the prevalence of stroke. Stroke affects populations across the socio-economic spectrum.[1] This developing situation will undoubtedly put a growing burden on rehabilitation services to meet the inflating demand. Telehealth interventions are employed in stroke rehabilitation due to resource limitations and scarcity of out-patient care[2], as is the case in most populous countries.

Effectiveness of telehealth interventions for stroke[edit | edit source]

A Cochrane review of 22 heterogeneous trials found only low to moderate level of evidence for the use of telerehabilitation. On comparison with usual care, short-term interventions provided after discharge from the hospital were not effective in improving outcomes. Studies found no difference between in-person therapy and telerehabilitation.[3]

Mode of telehealth delivery[edit | edit source]

Most studies in the Cochrane review used telephone calls and videoconferencing for delivering telehealth interventions. A few studies employed a combination of email, telephone calls, and online chat software. Some studies combined videoconferencing software with the real-time assessment of physiological parameters like blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation.[3]

Safety of telehealth interventions for stroke[edit | edit source]

According to the Cochrane review, out of 22 selected trials, only two studies reported adverse events. Albeit, none of the studies reported a serious adverse event resulting from a telehealth intervention.[3]

Cost of telehealth interventions for stroke[edit | edit source]

According to some studies in the Cochrane review, telerehabilitation was reportedly less expensive compared to in-person therapy. But the reviewers note that data on cost-effectiveness is lacking in these studies.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Feigin VL, Stark BA, Johnson CO, Roth GA, Bisignano C, Abady GG, Abbasifard M, Abbasi-Kangevari M, Abd-Allah F, Abedi V, Abualhasan A. Global, regional, and national burden of stroke and its risk factors, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet Neurology. 2021 Oct 1;20(10):795-820.
  2. Caughlin S, Mehta S, Corriveau H, Eng JJ, Eskes G, Kairy D, Meltzer J, Sakakibara BM, Teasell R. Implementing telerehabilitation after stroke: lessons learned from canadian trials. Telemedicine and e-Health. 2020 Jun 1;26(6):710-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Laver KE, Adey-Wakeling Z, Crotty M, Lannin NA, George S, Sherrington C. Telerehabilitation services for stroke. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020 Jan 31;1(1):CD010255.