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Sensors 2014, 14(7), 12451-12466; doi:10.3390/s140712451
Article

Bidirectional and Multi-User Telerehabilitation System: Clinical Effect on Balance, Functional Activity, and Satisfaction in Patients with Chronic Stroke Living in Long-Term Care Facilities

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Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 11 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Sensors and Systems)
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Abstract

Background: The application of internet technology for telerehabilitation in patients with stroke has developed rapidly. Objective: The current study aimed to evaluate the effect of a bidirectional and multi-user telerehabilitation system on balance and satisfaction in patients with chronic stroke living in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Method: This pilot study used a multi-site, blocked randomization design. Twenty-four participants from three LTCFs were recruited, and the participants were randomly assigned into the telerehabilitation (Tele) and conventional therapy (Conv) groups within each LTCF. Tele group received telerehabilitation but the Conv group received conventional therapy with two persons in each group for three sessions per week and for four weeks. The outcome measures included Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Barthel Index (BI), and the telerehabilitation satisfaction of the participants. Setting: A telerehabilitation system included “therapist end” in a laboratory, and the “client end” in LTCFs. The conventional therapy was conducted in LTCFs. Results: Training programs conducted for both the Tele and Conv groups showed significant effects within groups on the participant BBS as well as the total and self-care scores of BI. No significant difference between groups could be demonstrated. The satisfaction of participants between the Tele and the Conv groups also did not show significant difference. Conclusions: This pilot study indicated that the multi-user telerehabilitation program is feasible for improving the balance and functional activity similar to conventional therapy in patients with chronic stroke living in LTCFs.
Keywords: wireless sensor network; telerehabilitation; stroke; balance wireless sensor network; telerehabilitation; stroke; balance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lin, K.-H.; Chen, C.-H.; Chen, Y.-Y.; Huang, W.-T.; Lai, J.-S.; Yu, S.-M.; Chang, Y.-J. Bidirectional and Multi-User Telerehabilitation System: Clinical Effect on Balance, Functional Activity, and Satisfaction in Patients with Chronic Stroke Living in Long-Term Care Facilities. Sensors 2014, 14, 12451-12466.

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