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J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2015 Nov-Dec;35(6):380-9. doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000121.

A Systematic Review of the Effects of Telerehabilitation in Patients With Cardiopulmonary Diseases.

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Department of Physiotherapy, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Ms Hwang); Department of Physiotherapy, Heart Failure Support Service, The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Mr Bruning); The Menzies Health Institute Queensland and The School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (Dr Morris); and Physiotherapy, School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Drs Mandrusiak and Russell and Ms Hwang).



To examine the effects of telerehabilitation compared with other delivery models for improving physical or functional outcomes in patients with cardiopulmonary diseases.


A search was completed for English language publications from 1990 to August 2013 across 4 electronic databases and gray literature. Inclusion criteria were: (1) home-based telerehabilitation as a core component; (2) at least 2 exercise sessions; (3) randomized controlled trials; and (4) reporting of physical or functional outcome measures in adult patients with coronary heart disease, chronic heart failure, and chronic respiratory disease. Studies were independently screened by 2 reviewers and graded by a reviewer according to the Downs and Black checklist. A narrative synthesis of the included studies was undertaken.


Eleven studies were analyzed. It appears that telerehabilitation is no different to other delivery models for patients with cardiopulmonary diseases, in terms of exercise capacity expressed as distance on the 6-minute walk test and peak oxygen consumption and quality of life. Telerehabilitation appears to have higher adherence rates compared with center-based exercise. There has been similar or no adverse events reported in telerehabilitation compared with center-based exercise.


Although telerehabilitation shows promise in patients with cardiopulmonary diseases, compelling evidence is still limited. There is a need for more detailed, high-quality studies and for studies on the use of video-based telerehabilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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