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Telehealth for people with spinal cord injury: a narrative review

Journal article
Authors I. Irgens
Tiina Rekand
M. Arora
N. Liu
R. Marshall
F. Biering-Sorensen
M. Alexander
Published in Spinal Cord
Volume 56
Issue 7
Pages 643-655
ISSN 1362-4393
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 643-655
Language en
Keywords randomized controlled-trial, self-management, health, intervention, telemedicine, outcomes, care, adults, feasibility, program, Neurosciences & Neurology, Rehabilitation
Subject categories Nursing, Other Health Sciences


Study design Narrative review. Objectives To find and discuss what has been published about the use of telehealth, on people with spinal cord injury (teleSCI). Method Cochrane Library, Ovid Medline, EMBASE and CINAHL, from 1996 till June 2017 have been searched. Searches in PsycINFO, from 1996 till September 2017, were included afterwards. Extracted data include studies in English language, containing information about spinal cord injury and disorders, and telehealth. Literature reviews, systematic reviews, and studies containing other types of neurological disorders, were excluded. Studies were grouped based on how and to whom telehealth was offered. Results Twenty nine studies were included in the review. They were categorized according to the way teleSCI was provided, and to what modality was used. Some studies utilized more than one modality. TeleSCI seems to be favorable concerning treatment and follow-up, as well as favorable socioeconomically and environmentally. The studies spanned across several aims and outcomes. There was also heterogeneity in number of participants, the differences in modalities, and in the level of evidence. Thus it was challenging to compare studies and make future recommendations. Conclusions TeleSCI can be used for examination and guiding purposes. Further research is warranted to evaluate optimal utilization, methodology and efficacy.

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