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Effects of a telerehabilitation-based exercise program in patients with systemic sclerosis

HumanInsight Effects of a telerehabilitation-based exercise program in patients with systemic sclerosis

Z Rheumatol. 2023 Apr 25. doi: 10.1007/s00393-023-01346-1. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of telerehabilitation-based exercise programs in systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients.

METHODS: Forty-six SSc patients were randomly separated into two groups as telerehabilitation and control. Videos comprising clinical Pilates-based exercises were designed and uploaded to YouTube™ for the telerehabilitation group by physiotherapists. A video interview was conducted with the SSc patients once a week and an exercise program was performed twice daily for 8 weeks in the telerehabilitation group. The same exercise programs were printed on paper brochures and patients were instructed on their application in the form of a home exercise program to be continued for 8 weeks in the control group. Pain, fatigue, quality of life, sleep, physical activity, anxiety, and depression were assessed in all patients at the beginning and end of the study.

RESULTS: The clinical and demographic characteristics were similar in both groups (p > 0.05). Fatigue, pain, anxiety, and depression decreased in both groups, while quality of life and sleep quality increased after the exercise program (p < 0.05). However, the improvements in the telerehabilitation group were statistically more significant than in the control group for all studied parameters (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The results of our study demonstrate the superior efficacy of telerehabilitation-based treatment programs over home exercise programs, hence, we suggest widespread use of this innovative treatment program in SSc patients.

PMID:37097308 | DOI:10.1007/s00393-023-01346-1

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