We conducted a systematic review of telerehabilitation interventions in stroke care. The following databases were searched: Medline, Embase, DARE-NHSEED-HTA (INAHTA) and the Cochrane Library. Nine studies, all published after 2000, were included in the review. A wide variety of telemedicine interventions in post-stroke rehabilitation care was identified. Four studies had been carried out in the USA, two in the Netherlands, two in Italy and one in China. There were four randomized controlled trials and one qualitative analysis. Four studies used an observational study design/case series. Home-based telerehabilitation interventions showed promising results in improving the health of stroke patients and in supporting caregivers. Telemedicine systems based on a virtual environment for upper extremity exercise can improve the physical health of stroke patients. Health professionals and participants reported high levels of satisfaction and acceptance of telerehabilitation interventions. There was no evidence regarding the effects on resource utilization or cost-effectiveness. Most studies showed promising results, although overall, the quality of the evidence on telerehabilitation in post-stroke care was low.
Johansson T, Wild C. Telerehabilitation in stroke care - a systematic review. J Telemed Telecare. 2011 Jan 1;17(1):1-6.