Effectiveness of remote physiotherapeutic e-Health interventions on pain in patients with musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review

Suze A.J. Toonders, Hedwig A. van der Meer, Thijs van Bruxvoort, Cindy Veenhof, Caroline M. Speksnijder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To systematically review the literature on effectiveness of remote physiotherapeutic e-Health interventions on pain in patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Materials and methods: Using online data sources PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane in adults with musculoskeletal disorders with a pain-related complaint. Remote physiotherapeutic e-Health interventions were analysed. Control interventions were not specified. Outcomes on effect of remote e-Health interventions in terms of pain intensity. Results: From 11,811 studies identified, 27 studies were included. There is limited evidence for the effectiveness for remote e-Health for patients with back pain based on five articles. Twelve articles studied chronic pain and the effectiveness was dependent on the control group and involvement of healthcare providers. In patients with osteoarthritis (five articles), total knee surgery (two articles), and knee pain (three articles) no significant effects were found for remote e-Health compared to control groups. Conclusions: There is limited evidence for the effectiveness of remote physiotherapeutic e-Health interventions to decrease pain intensity in patients with back pain. There is some evidence for effectiveness of remote e-Health in patients with chronic pain. For patients with osteoarthritis, after total knee surgery and knee pain, there appears to be no effect of e-Health when solely looking at reduction of pain. Implications for rehabilitation This review shows that e-Health can be an effective way of reducing pain in some populations. Remote physiotherapeutic e-Health interventions may decrease pain intensity in patients with back pain. Autonomous e-Health is more effective than no treatment in patients with chronic pain. There is no effect of e-Health in reduction of pain for patients with osteoarthritis, after total knee surgery and knee pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3620-3638
Number of pages19
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume45
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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