Implementing Telerehabilitation Research For Stroke Rehabilitation With Community Dwelling Veterans: Lessons Learned

Neale R Chumbler, Patricia Quigley, Jon Sanford, Patricia Griffiths, Dorian Rose, Miriam Morey, E. Wesley Ely, Helen Hoenig


Telerehabilitation (TR) is the use of telehealth technologies to provide distance support, rehabilitation services and information exchange between people with disabilities and their clinical providers. This article discusses the barriers experienced when implementing a TR multi-site randomized controlled trial for stroke patients in their homes, and the lessons learned from conducting the study. The barriers are divided into two sections: those specific to TR and those pertinent to research overall. The TR specific barriers included the rapidly changing telecommunications and health care environment and inconsistent equipment functionality. The barriers applicable to research overall included the need for telehealth research to meet regulations in diverse departments and the rapidly expanding and changing research regulations. Solutions to the barriers included having various telehealth equipment available to allow for functionality with the currently diverse telecommunications infrastructure, rigorous pilot testing all equipment in different situations, and having biomedical engineering staff on-call and on-site.


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