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Can we use internet for rehabilitation?

Comment by Paul Dendale, EACPR Cardiac Rehabilitation Section

Randomized trial of an internet-based computer-tailored expert system for physical activity in patients with heart disease
Robert D Reid, Louise I Morrin, Louise J Beaton, Sophia Papadakis, Jana Kocourek, Lisa McDonnell, Monika E Slovinec D'Angelo, Heather Tulloch, Neville Suskin, Karen Unsworth, Chris Blanchard, Andrew L Pipe
EJCPR Published online September 8, 2011, doi: 10.1177/1741826711422988

This study randomised patients after admission for heart disease in London or Ottawa to a usual care group (which got only advice from their cardiologist) and an intervention (CardioFit). The CardioFit intervention consisted of a personally tailored physical activity plan, several online tutorials, and a secure website for activity planning and tracking. Pedometers were used to track physical activity, and feedback was given by exercise specialists.

The results of the trial are encouraging: as compared to the usual care group, the intervention group increased significantly their physical activity by approximately 10%, with positive results on heart related quality of life.

The next step is testing if an automatic feedback by a computer program could have the same results…