tele lbpA research team from the University of Granada, Spain, has reportedly designed and evaluated a web-based rehabilitation system engineered to perform routine clinical assessments of patients with lower back pain (LBP). The results from a study centered on the web-based assessment system for LBP may provide preliminary support to its implementation, researchers say.

According to researchers, the telerehabilitation setup operated between two personal computers with webcams and included the videoconferencing service Skype, allowing the patient and physical therapist to talk and see each other in real time. The study, which appears in Spine, indicates that the therapist and patient were able to communicate and complete standard back pain questionnaires using the web-based system.

The system also enabled the therapist to guide the patient in performing specific movements while capturing video clips for analysis using the video motion analysis software, Kinovea. A news release reports that a total of 15 patients with chronic LBP underwent two assessments in random order, including one face-to-face and one using the telerehabilitation system. Researchers note they assessed accuracy of the system by comparing the results of the two assessments. The study suggests that the results exhibited “good agreement between the two evaluations, supporting the use of telerehabilitation for clinical assessment of LBP.”

The results also indicated a good correlation for measures made on video motion analysis and questionnaire-based assessments. Researchers add that while the system may be useful in assessing LBP patients, further research is needed in larger groups of patients with the web-based system, placing a primary focus on patients who do not have access to in-person evaluations.

[Source: Spine]