Scalvini S, Zanelli E, Comini L, Tomba MD, Troise G, Giordano A
This study evaluated the feasibility of a home-based rehabilitation programme, which was designed to resemble an in-hospital rehabilitation programme. Patients who underwent cardiac surgery followed a one-month home rehabilitation programme supervised by a nurse-tutor and a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy was performed at home with calisthenic exercises and bicycle-ergometer tests. Patients transmitted the recorded ECGs by telephone to a service centre. They also performed a 6-minute walking test and filled in a satisfaction questionnaire at the end of the programme. A total of 47 patients were enrolled in the study. There were 3050 telephone calls, of which 3012 (99%) were scheduled and 38 were unscheduled. No further action was required in 95% of calls. There were 809 sessions for calisthenic exercises and 1039 for exercise training.
There was a significant increase in the 6-minute walking test distance at the end of the programme compared to the baseline. Patient satisfaction, as measured in a questionnaire, was about 95% overall. This type of home rehabilitation using telemedicine appears to be worth implementing in selected categories of patients.
J Telemed Telecare. 2009;15(6):297-301