Recent developments in technology are promising for providing home-based exercise programs.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and patient experience of a home-based rehabilitation program after total hip arthroplasty (THA) delivered using videos on a tablet personal computer (PC) and a necklace-worn motion sensor to continuously monitor mobility-related activities.
We enrolled 30 independently living patients aged 18-75 years who had undergone THA as a treatment for primary or secondary osteoarthritis (OA) between December 2015 and February 2017. Patients followed a 12-week exercise program with video instructions on a tablet PC and daily physical activity registration through a motion sensor. Patients were asked to do strengthening and walking exercises at least 5 days a week. There was weekly phone contact with a physiotherapist. Adherence and technical problems were recorded during the intervention. User evaluation was done in week 4 (T1) and at the end of the program (T2).
Overall, 26 patients completed the program. Average adherence for exercising 5 times a week was 92%. Reasons mentioned most often for nonadherence were vacation or a day or weekend off 25% (33/134) and work 15% (20/134). The total number of technical issues was 8. The average score on the user evaluation questionnaire (range 0-5) was 4.6 at T1 and 4.5 at T2. The highest score was for the subscale “coaching” and the lowest for the subscale “sensor.”
A home-based rehabilitation program driven by a tablet app and mobility monitoring seems feasible for THA patients. Adherence was good and patient experience was positive. The novel technology was well accepted. When the home-based rehabilitation program proves to be effective, it could be used as an alternative to formal physiotherapy. However, further research on its effectiveness is needed.