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Comparison of Paper-Based Versus PC CD-ROM-Based Home Exercise Program Performance in the Outpatient Physical Therapy Setting

1 May 2001


Few studies have investigated the potential of using the home PC as a tool to facilitate the performance of clients' home exercise programs (HEP) in the realm of physical therapy. Given the continuing exponential growth of the PC and the resultant growth of information exchange (via new software programming, e-mail, and Internet access), it is a logical step for the field of physical therapy (PT) to capture this technology and use it toward improving HEP performance. This study assessed if a CD-ROM-based REP facilitated the effectiveness of physical therapy HEP by improving exercise performance. Twelve subjects were recruited from various outpatient orthopedic PT. facilities in the Pacific Northwest. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups (PF and CD). Those in Group PF received the typical paper-format REP instruction. Each subject in Group CD was issued a CD-ROM that contained video clips specific to their REP. Each subject was required to utilize their form of HEP instruction for a period of five to 10 days. After the trial period, each subject's primary PT completed a questionnaire to assess the quality of performance of each exercise in their respective REP as determined by the Henry-Eckert Performance Assessment Tool (HEPAT). In total, 49 exercises were prescribed to the subjects (27 in Group PF, 22 in Group CD) and subsequently analyzed for three criteria related to exercise performance: alignment, cueing, and quality. Results were investigated using a two-way, between groups Chi-square statistical analysis. A statistically significant difference (p < .05) was found between groups for cueing (X2=5.77, critical X2=3.84). There was no statistically significant difference found with the other two criteria. The results demonstrate that the method of HEP instruction has an impact on exercise performance.


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