Physiotherapy at a distance: A controlled study of rehabilitation at home after a shoulder joint operation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We explored the benefit of video communication in home rehabilitation after shoulder joint replacement and compared it to referral for physiotherapy in the conventional way. A total of 22 patients were included in the study. The intervention group (n = 10) had training at home under the supervision of a physiotherapist at the hospital using videoconferencing. The control group (n = 12) had physiotherapy training in a conventional way in their home town. All patients had the same postoperative, three-phase-programme for two months. The outcome measures were a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain, range of motion (ROM), shoulder function ability (Constant score and SRQ-S) and health-related quality of life (SF-36). Questions about areas of priority for improvement and general satisfaction with the shoulder were also included. The telemedicine group received a greater number of treatments compared to the control group. After the intervention, there were significant improvements in VAS-pain, Constant score and SRQ-S for both groups. The telemedicine group improved significantly more in all three measurements than the control group (P< 0.001 for all). When changes from baseline to follow-up were compared, the telemedicine group improved significantly more in terms of decrease in pain (P = 0.004) and vitality (P = 0.001) than the control group. Despite some limitations, there seem to be clear benefits from physiotherapy at a distance with a telemedicine technique that allows patients to obtain access to physiotherapy at home.


  • Lisbeth Eriksson
  • Britta Lindström
  • Gunvor Gard
  • Jack Lysholm
External organisations
  • Luleå University of Technology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009 Jul
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes