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1.  Telehealth: reaching out to newly injured spinal cord patients. 
Public Health Reports  2001;116(Suppl 1):94-102.
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.
PMCID: PMC1913671  PMID: 11889278

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