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Telerehabilitation for chronic respiratory disease: a randomised controlled equivalence trial
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  • Published on:
    Is Telerehabilitation a Realistic Alternative to Centre-based Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
    • Cassim Akhoon, Internal Medicine Trainee Homerton University Hospital
    • Other Contributors:
      • Joshua Agbetile, Consultant Respiratory Physician
      • Raja RAJAKULASINGAM, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
      • Bhowmik Angshu, Consultant Respiratory Physician

    The benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation for individuals with chronic respiratory diseases are well-documented1, but referral practices and programme completion have remained challenging. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and shielding practices. Thus, highlighting the usefulness of developing a robust telerehabilitation programme as a substitute for centre-based programmes. The data gained from Cox et al addresses this area and demonstrates clinically meaningful advantages of telerehabilitation and is warmly welcomed. A detailed breakdown of the costs involved between both arms would be very helpful in assessing an overall equivalence of the two arms.

    The CRQ is a validated tool for use in research; however, the use of its dyspnoea domain specifically has been shown to be less reliable in comparative research2. Other tools which may be a useful substitute for this study would be ‘incremental shuttle walking test’3 and ‘St George’s respiratory questionnaire’4.

    The number of participants presenting to community healthcare services, and/or those requiring rescue therapy for a mild exacerbation (e.g., antibiotics and/or a short course of corticosteroids) not requiring presentation to a hospital, during the study and follow-up period, may be useful for further assessment of the equivalence of telerehabilitation versus centre-based programmes.

    This study provides useful data regarding the potential benefits of incorporating telerehabilita...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.