Objective Investigate whether exercise-based telerehabilitation improves pain, physical function and quality of life in adults with physical disabilities.
Design Systematic review of randomised controlled trials.
Data sources Searches were performed in AMED, MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, Embase, PEDro, Cochrane Library and PsycINFO.
Eligibility criteria Trials were considered if they evaluated exercise by telerehabilitation. The population included adults with physical disability. Comparisons were control and other interventions. The outcomes were pain, physical function and quality of life. Study selection, data extraction and analysis followed the protocol registered in PROSPERO (CRD42019122824). GRADE determined the strength of evidence.
Results Forty-eight trials were included in the quantitative analysis. When compared with other interventions, there was high-quality evidence that telerehabilitation was not different to other interventions for pain (95% CI: −0.4 to 0.1), physical function (95% CI: −0.2 to 0.2) and quality of life (95% CI: −0.1 to 0.5) at long-term. There was moderate-quality evidence that telerehabilitation was not different to other interventions for physical function (95% CI: −0.1 to 0.5) and quality of life (95% CI: −0.2 to 0.5) at short-term. However, due to the low-quality evidence and the small number of trials comparing exercise protocols offered by telerehabilitation with control groups, it is still not possible to state the efficacy of telerehabilitation on pain, function and quality of life at short-term and long-term.
Conclusions Exercise by telerehabilitation may be an alternative to treat pain, physical function and quality of life in adults with physical disabilities when compared with other intervention.
- exercise rehabilitation
- physical activity
- quality of life
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Contributors JFD, VCO, PRTB, FCMSD, MCM, RNK, RAR and RFS contributed to planning, conduct and reporting of the work described in this article.
Funding This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001. We are also thankful to the State of Minas Gerais Funding Agency FAPEMIG.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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