We reviewed the methodology used in telemedicine research concerning patients with postural and movement disorders. Literature searches were performed using various computerized databases through to October 2005. Twenty-two studies met the criteria for review. Two broad models of telemedicine delivery were represented in the literature: (1) telemedicine between health-care professionals at each telemedicine site (n = 16) and (2) telemedicine between health-care professionals and a patient at a remote site (n = 6). Disparate research methodologies were used to investigate these two models. Most studies were limited to investigating the technical feasibility and acceptability of a telemedicine service rather than focusing on the overall effect of introducing the telemedicine service into routine health care. Nonetheless, it is possible to conclude that telemedicine is acceptable for both patients and professionals when used in rehabilitation. Since the two models of telemedicine evaluation tend to explore different outcomes (diagnostic accuracy versus health status), it is recommended that separate methodologies should be used. In contrast to evaluations of telemedicine model 2, randomized controlled trials appear to be less valuable for telemedicine model 1.
- BSS-Biomechatronics and rehabilitation technology