HumanInsight Improvement in motor symptoms, physical fatigue, and self-rated change perception in functional motor disorders: a prospective cohort study of a 12-week telemedicine program
J Neurol. 2022 Jul 9. doi: 10.1007/s00415-022-11230-8. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Functional motor disorders (FMDs) are highly disabling conditions associated with long-term disability, poor quality of life, and economic burden on health and social care. While multidisciplinary 5-days rehabilitation programs have been shown to reduce motor and non-motor symptoms, long-term management and monitoring in FMDs remain an unmet need.
AIM: To compare a 12-weeks telemedicine program against a 12-weeks self-management program after a 5-days rehabilitation program for improving motor, non-motor symptoms, quality of life, and perception of change in patients with FMDs.
METHODS: The study population was 64 consecutive patients with a definite diagnosis of FMDs who underwent a 5-days in-person rehabilitation program followed by either a self-management (the first 32 patients) or a telemedicine program (the latter 32 patients). Validated measures of motor and non-motor symptoms such as fatigue and pain, quality of life, perception of change, gait, and postural control were recorded before (T0), after completion of rehabilitation (T1), and then again at 3 months (T2).
RESULTS: Improvement at 3-month follow-up assessment of motor symptoms (p < 0.001), physical fatigue (p = 0.028), and self-rated change perception (p = 0.043) was greater in the telemedicine group. No different between-groups effect was found on other dimensions of fatigue, pain, physical and mental health, and gait and postural control.
CONCLUSIONS: Long-term management and expert monitoring of patients with FMDs via telemedicine may enhance long-term outcomes in motor symptoms and physical fatigue, with a positive long-term impact on self-rated health perception of change.
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