HumanInsight Efficacy of telerehabilitation for spine pain during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown: a retrospective propensity score-matched analysis
Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2022 Aug 5:1-8. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2022.2107718. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Despite increased usage of telemedicine to deliver treatment during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the efficacy of telerehabilitation for spine pain is unknown. This study aimed to investigate the effect of telerehabilitation on pain and disability in patients with spine pain treated during the COVID-19 pandemic and compare the results to in-clinic rehabilitation.
MATERIALS & METHODS: In this propensity score-matched analysis, 428 patients with spine pain who underwent telerehabilitation during the 6 months of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and 428 patients who underwent in-clinic multimodal rehabilitation treatment during the 6-month period prior to lockdown were compared. Propensity score matching was done based on gender, age, pre-treatment pain, and disability. Post-treatment numerical pain rating scale (NPRS), Oswestry or Neck disability index (ODI or NDI), and minimal clinical important difference (MCID) achieved for NPRS and ODI/NDI scores were compared between the 2 groups.
RESULTS: Post-treatment, the mean NPRS (mean difference - 1, p < 0.0001) and ODI/NDI (mean difference - 5.8, p < 0.0001) scores, were significantly lower in the telerehabilitation group when compared to control group. Similarly, the percentage of patients who achieved MCID of ≥ 2 for NPRS (mean difference - 6%, p = 0.0007) and MCID of ≥ 10 for ODI/NDI (mean difference - 7.5%, p = 0.005) scores were significantly higher in the telerehabilitation group.
CONCLUSIONS: Telerehabilitation achieved significant reduction in pain and disability among patients with spine pain, better than in-clinic rehabilitation. These encouraging results during the COVID-19 pandemic indicate the need to further explore and test the efficacy and wider application of telerehabilitation for treating spine pain.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONTelerehabilitation can help achieve significant reduction in pain and disability among patients with spine pain.These encouraging results indicate the need to further explore a wider application of telerehabilitation for treating patients with spine pain during non-pandemic times.
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