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


  • Neale R Chumbler Richard L Roudebush VAMC
  • Patricia Quigley James A. Haley VAMC Tampa, FL
  • Jon Sanford Atlanta VAMC Rehabilitation R&D Center Atlanta, GA
  • Patricia Griffiths Atlanta VAMC Rehabilitation R&D Center Atlanta, GA
  • Dorian Rose University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions
  • Miriam Morey Durham VAMC
  • E. Wesley Ely
  • Helen Hoenig Durham VAMC



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.


Author Biographies

Neale R Chumbler, Richard L Roudebush VAMC

Associate Chief, VA HSR&D Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence Based Practice, Richard L. Roudebush VAMC, Indianapolis, IN
Professor, Department of Sociology, School of Liveral Arts, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, IN


Patricia Quigley, James A. Haley VAMC Tampa, FL

Associate Chief of Nursing Service for ResearchAssociate Director, VISN 8 Patient Safety CenterHSR&D, RR&D Center of Research Excellence: Maximizing Rehabilitation Outcomes


Jon Sanford, Atlanta VAMC Rehabilitation R&D Center Atlanta, GA

Research Architect at Atlanta VAMC Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence

Patricia Griffiths, Atlanta VAMC Rehabilitation R&D Center Atlanta, GA

Instructor Emory University, School of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology



Dorian Rose, University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions

Research Assistant Professor Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, College of Medicine Joint Research Assistant Professor Department of Physical Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions at University of Florida Gainesville, FL

Miriam Morey, Durham VAMC

Director, Gerofit CenterAssociate Director of Research for Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Durham VAMCAssociate Professor, Dept of Medicine, Div of Geriatrics, Duke University Medical CenterCo-Director, Duke Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, Durham, NC

E. Wesley Ely

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Nashville, TN

Helen Hoenig, Durham VAMC

Chief of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationAssociate Professor, Dept of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center


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How to Cite

Chumbler, N. R., Quigley, P., Sanford, J., Griffiths, P., Rose, D., Morey, M., Ely, E. W., & Hoenig, H. (2010). Implementing Telerehabilitation Research For Stroke Rehabilitation With Community Dwelling Veterans: Lessons Learned. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 2(1), 15–22.