An at-home, telehealth-based stroke rehabilitation program helped patients regain lower body function, according to a study published online ahead of the August print edition of the journal Stroke, United Press International reports.
The study was led by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Department of Veterans Affairs' Richard Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.
The researchers evaluated 52 veterans who were living at home and who had survived a hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke within the previous two years. Some of the patients received their usual care and some participated in a stroke telerehabilitation program called STeleR.
For the STeleR program, researchers installed a camera to record veterans' functional abilities and connected an in-home messaging device to a telephone line. A remote therapist used the messaging device to monitor the veterans on a weekly basis.
Compared with veterans who received usual care, the study found that veterans who participated in the STeleR program were better able to:
- Maintain a regular exercise routine;
- Prepare meals;
- Handle personal needs, such as bathing; and
- Manage their finances (United Press International, 5/29).