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Effectiveness and feasibility of telerehabilitation in patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

HumanInsight Effectiveness and feasibility of telerehabilitation in patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

BMJ Open. 2022 Oct 5;12(10):e063961. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-063961.


OBJECTIVES: To determine the pooled effectiveness and feasibility of telerehabilitation in patients with COVID-19.

DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

DATA SOURCES: PubMed, CINAHL, Science Direct, PEDro, Google Scholar and Cochrane Library databases were systematically searched to the end of March 2022.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA AND OUTCOMES: RCTs investigating the effects of telerehabilitation in the management of patients with COVID-19 were included. The outcomes of interest were functional capacity, cardiopulmonary exercise tests, quality of life and other variables where data are available.

DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Two reviewers screened, extracted data and performed methodological quality assessment independently. The revised Cochrane Risk of Bias tool was used to assess the risk of bias. Review Manager V.5.4 and Stata V.14.0 software were used for statistical analysis. Mean difference (MD) with 95% CI and the corresponding p value were used to determine the treatment effect between groups. A fixed-effect model was used for all variables as no significant heterogeneity was observed.

RESULTS: Four studies with 334 patients with COVID-19 were included. The pooled result of telerehabilitation showed statistically significant improvement on 6-minute walking test (MD 75.50; 95% CI 54.69 to 96.30; p=0.48), 30-second sit-to-stand test (MD 1.76; 95% CI 1.47 to 2.04; p=0.30), Borg Scale (MD 2.49; 95% CI 2.16 to 2.83; p=0.28) and level of dyspnoea (MD 6.26; 95% CI 5.42 to 7.10; p=0.66). The overall treatment completion rate was 88.46%, and the most common reason for withdrawal after randomisation was lost to follow-up or uncooperativeness.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings showed that telerehabilitation interventions could improve functional capacity and exercise perception among patients affected by COVID-19 and can be implemented with a high completion rate and minimal adverse events. However, more studies are required to investigate the effects on cardiopulmonary function, quality of life, anxiety, depression and other variables.


PMID:36198459 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-063961

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