BACKGROUND: Patients with chronic diseases often need to adhere to long-term individualized home exercise programs (HEPs). Limited adherence to long-term exercise given during physical therapy (PT) visits reduces the capacity of exercise to manage or improve symptoms related to chronic disease. In addition, a lower socioeconomic status negatively impacts exercise adherence. To mitigate this, apps that motivate people to exercise could be a viable option. Using an app through telehealth may help adults with chronic diseases to achieve long-term HEP adherence. However, because apps for rehabilitation are an emerging field, the feasibility of the app needs to be evaluated.
OBJECTIVE: To address HEP adherence in participants with chronic diseases who are experiencing financial distress, we aim to evaluate the feasibility of and satisfaction with the Hudl Technique app and telehealth and satisfaction with PT care and to monitor HEP adherence and compliance (ie, percentage of participant-recorded videos sent) in participants using the app with telehealth compared with those using standard HEPs on paper.
METHODS: We recruited patients scheduled for outpatient PT. We performed a randomized controlled trial in which the experimental group received weekly HEP demonstrations through app videos on a tablet with feedback on their self-recorded HEP video performance from the telehealth physical therapist. The control group received HEPs on paper without feedback, as is customary in PT practice. Demographic, clinical, and health coverage information was collected for screening and baseline measurements. Adherence and compliance were evaluated. Both groups completed surveys at 8 and 24 weeks on their satisfaction with PT care, and the experimental group also completed a survey on their satisfaction with the app with telehealth use. Descriptive and nonparametric statistics were used for within-group and between-group comparisons and analyzed with JMP, version 13.
RESULTS: Overall, 45 adults with chronic diseases who were experiencing financial distress were randomized into experimental (23/45, 51%) and control (22/45, 49%) groups, with 74% (17/23) and 86% (19/22) participants completing the 24-week HEP, respectively. The experimental group had an HEP adherence frequency of 4 (SD 2) to 5 (SD 2) times per week at 8 and 24 weeks (P=.14), whereas HEP adherence decreased in the control group from 4 (SD 2) to 3 (SD 2) times per week (P=.07), with a significant difference (P=.01) between groups at 24 weeks. Of the total participants, 68% (15/22) sent videos. They sent 68% (16/24) of the requested number of videos on average. The average score for PT care satisfaction was maintained at 87% in the experimental group (P=.99), whereas it decreased from 89% at 8 weeks to 74% at 24 weeks (P=.008) in the control group. App-related adverse events were not observed.
CONCLUSIONS: The Hudl app/telehealth platform is feasible for delivering HEPs and maintaining HEP adherence in participants with chronic diseases who are experiencing financial distress.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02659280; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02659280.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr Yuichiro Takagi for critically reading the manuscript. The data sets generated and/or analyzed during this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. This work was supported by the Medtronic Philanthropy (Grant No. FY15-00261) to explore novel ways in Expanding Access to Physical Therapy for Underserved Patients With Chronic Disease.
© Ann Van de Winckel, Tanjila Nawshin, Casey Byron.
- Chronic disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article