This study examined functional outcomes, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and satisfaction in a group of Veterans who received physical therapy via an in-home video telerehabilitation program, the Rural Veterans TeleRehabilitation Initiative (RVTRI). A retrospective, pre-post study design was used. Measures obtained from 26 Veterans who received physical therapy in the RVTRI program between February 22, 2010, and April 1, 2011, were analyzed. Outcomes were the Functional Independence Measure (FIM); Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand measure; Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA); and the 2-minute walk test (2MWT). HRQoL was assessed using the Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey (VR-12), and program satisfaction was evaluated using a telehealth satisfaction scale. Average length of participation was 99.2 +/- 43.3 d and Veterans, on average, received 15.2 +/- 6.0 therapeutic sessions. Significant improvement was shown in the participants’ FIM (p < 0.001, r = 0.63), MoCA (p = 0.01, r = 0.44), 2MWT (p = 0.006, r = 0.73), and VR-12 (p = 0.02, r = 0.42). All Veterans reported satisfaction with their telerehabilitation experiences.
Those enrolled in the RVTRI program avoided an average of 2,774.7 +/- 3,197.4 travel miles, 46.3 +/- 53.3 hr of driving time, and $1,151.50 +/- $1,326.90 in travel reimbursement. RVTRI provided an effective real-time, home-based, physical therapy.