Telerehabilitation in the Middle East North Africa Region: A Structured Review


  • Naif Qasam Aljabri College of Medical Rehabilitation Sciences , Taibah University, Saudi Arabia
  • Kim Bulkeley Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney
  • Anne Cusick The University of Sydney



Middle East, Northern Africa, Rehabilitation, Telerehabilitation


A structured review using the PRISMA guidelines, MeSH keywords and eight health databases was conducted (1990 to March 2021). Telerehabilitation research evidence from the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) was summarized. Twelve studies from Iran, Israel, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia met inclusion criteria; nearly all had been published within the past five years. Methodological quality was moderate to good in the four randomized controlled trials, five cohort-studies and three cross-section surveys. There were seven intervention studies in cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, neurology or burn rehabilitation and three patient perception and two practitioner perception studies. Narrative synthesis revealed content themes relating to rehabilitation availability and accessibility; patient/practitioner perceptions of telerehabilitation; telerehabilitation to augment traditional services; and barriers to telerehabilitation. Telerehabilitation practice in MENA has been demonstrated as feasible, acceptable to patients, and effective in practitioner-designed cohort specific programs. Practitioners are generally positive but lack experience and need training, enabling technological systems, and policy frameworks.



Author Biographies

Naif Qasam Aljabri, College of Medical Rehabilitation Sciences , Taibah University, Saudi Arabia

Naif Qasam Aljabri is a licensed occupational therapist and graduate of King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Cardiff University in occupational therapy. He is currently a doctoral candidate at The University of Sydney, Australlia, sponsored by Taibahu University. 

Kim Bulkeley, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney

Dr Kim Bulkeley is Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator for the interdisciplinary undergraduate major/minor in Disability and Participation at The University of Sydney. She is a registered occupational therapist with research and practice expertise in rural and remote allied health practice, including collaborative, co-designed, consumer and community led programs that are strengths-based and culturally responsive. She promotes and applies ehealth in her work with communities, collaborators and students. 

Anne Cusick, The University of Sydney

Anne Cusick is Professor and Chair of Occupational Therapy at The University of Sydney. She has an interdisciplinary background including qualifications in health science, social science and business. Anne's research and education interest is in rehabilitation workforce development through evidence-informed entry-level and continuing education to ensure accessible, safe and effective service that is relevant, responsive and realistically sustainable in complex contexts.


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How to Cite

Aljabri, N. Q. ., Bulkeley, K., & Cusick, A. (2021). Telerehabilitation in the Middle East North Africa Region: A Structured Review. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 13(2).



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