Volume 34, Issue 4, December 2023

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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2023;34(4):443-53
The Impact of a Physiotherapy Tele-Rehabilitation Program on the Quality of Care for Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Authors Information

1Asklepeio Physiotherapy Clinic, Thessaloniki, Greece

2First Department of Paediatrics, Paediatric Immunology and Rheumatology Referral Centre, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Hippokration Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

3Department of Physiotherapy, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, Greece

M Stavrakidou, M Trachana, A Koutsonikoli, K Spanidou


Objectives: To investigate the applicability and impact of a physiotherapy tele-rehabilitation program (TRP) on children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis(JIA) and their families. Methods: Thirty JIA patients, applying an individualized home-exercise program (HEP), were randomly divided in the tele-rehabilitation (TRG, n=15) and control group (CG, n=15). Each TRG patient participated in a 30-minute tele-session, under a paediatric physiotherapist’s supervision, twice a week, for 12 weeks. Before and after the TRP (T1 and T2, respectively), all participants and a parent/guardian completed the Juvenile Arthritis Multidimensional Assessment Report (JAMAR) questionnaire and a questionnaire regarding the HEP implementation and compliance. Residual disease was estimated at T1 and T2. At T2, TRG patients/parents completed a questionnaire evaluating the TRP. One month after T2, a reassessment of compliance with the HEP was performed. Results: The patients’ median age was 12.8 (8-16) years. At T2, the TRG patients performed the HEP significantly more frequently (p=0.023), for a longer time (p=0.034) and with less urging (p=0.004), compared to T1. Moreover, they exhibited significantly increased compliance with HEP (p=0.001), better functionality (p=0.008), better quality of life (p=0.007) and less pain (p=0.017). The CG patients showed no significant changes. Residual disease improved in both groups (TRG:p=0.002, CG:p=0.018), but more in the TRG (p=0.045). TRP’s applicability and total benefit were rated as excellent by patients/parents. Finally, one month after T2, compliance with the HEP was still greater than at T1(p=0.001). Conclusion: An interactive physiotherapy TRP can be implemented effectively for JIA patients, providing an additional tool for their rehabilitation.

Cite this article as: Stavrakidou M, Trachana M, Koutsonikoli A, Spanidou K, Hristara-Papadopoulou A. The Impact of a Physiotherapy Tele-Rehabilitation Program on the Quality of Care for Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Mediterr J Rheumatol 2023;34(4):443-53

Article Submitted: 19 Feb 2023; Revised Form: 19 May 2023; Article Accepted: 04 Jun 2023; Available Online: 31 Aug 2023

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

©2023 The Author(s).