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BMJ : British Medical Journal (1)
Public Health Reports (1)
Phillips, V. L. (2)
Egner, A. (1)
Hauber, R. (1)
Vesmarovich, S. (1)
Wiggers, E. (1)
Year of Publication
Telehealth: reaching out to newly injured spinal cord patients.
Public Health Reports
OBJECTIVES: The authors present preliminary results on health-related outcomes of a randomized trial of telehealth interventions designed to reduce the incidence of secondary conditions among people with mobility impairment resulting from spinal cord injury (SCI). METHODS: Patients with spinal cord injuries were recruited during their initial stay at a rehabilitation facility in Atlanta. They received a video-based intervention for nine weeks, a telephone-based intervention for nine weeks, or standard follow-up care. Participants are followed for at least one year, to monitor days of hospitalization, depressive symptoms, and health-related quality of life. RESULTS: Health-related quality of life was measured using the Quality of Well-Being (QWB) scale. QWB scores (n = 111) did not differ significantly between the three intervention groups at the end of the intervention period. At year one post discharge, however, scores for those completing one year of enrollment (n = 47) were significantly higher for the intervention groups compared to standard care. Mean annual hospital days were 3.00 for the video group, 5.22 for the telephone group, and 7.95 for the standard care group. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary evidence suggests that in-home telephone or video-based interventions do improve health-related outcomes for newly injured SCI patients. Telehealth interventions may be cost-saving if program costs are more than offset by a reduction in rehospitalization costs, but differential advantages of video-based interventions versus telephone alone warrant further examination.
Community care for severely disabled people on low incomes.
BMJ : British Medical Journal
OBJECTIVE--To examine the volume and distribution of formal and informal care received by severely disabled adults living at home in the community on low incomes according to type of disease. DESIGN--Analysis of computerised reports from social workers which include information on disabling conditions and on the weekly hours of care at home from formal and informal sources. SUBJECTS--1298 severely disabled people aged 16 to 98 who received financial assistance from the Independent Living Fund in 1991-2. RESULTS--Over half (733; 56.6% (53.8 to 59.2)) of the sample were completely unable to perform five or more of the basic activities of daily living. On average the whole sample received 6.8 (6.1 to 7.6) hours of care at home a week from formal sources and 64.2 (62.4 to 65.9) hours from informal sources. In seven out of 14 disease groups, less than half in each group received any formal help at home. There were large differences in the volume of formal care within groups. In most cases no significant differences were found within diagnostic groups between those receiving care at home from district health authorities or local authorities, or both, and those who received no help at home with regard to age, dependency score, and duration of disability. Weekly hours of informal care were an important determinant of who received formal help in nine out of 14 groups. CONCLUSIONS--The amount of care received at home by low income, severely disabled people from formal sources differs across and within diagnostic groups. The fact that the variation was not systematically related to age, dependency, or duration suggests that the existing distribution of community care resources needs to be examined. Weekly hours of informal care and diagnosis seem to affect the volume and type of care received. The methods by which people in need of assistance receive help merit further investigation.
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