Effects of live, videotaped, or written instruction on learning an upper-extremity exercise program

Phys Ther. 2004 Jul;84(7):622-33.


Background and purpose: Today's health care environment encourages cost containment in many aspects of patient care, including exercise instruction in physical therapy. The purpose of this study was to determine whether different modes of instruction affect the learning of an exercise program, as measured by retention test performance immediately after the instruction and practice and after a 1-day delay.

Subjects: Subjects were 40 people, aged 26 to 51 years (mean=38.4, SD=7.4), with no known shoulder pathology.

Methods: Subjects were instructed in a series of 5 shoulder exercises by 1 of 4 modes of instruction: (1) live modeling, (2) corrected-error videotape, (3) error-free videotape, and (4) handout alone.

Results: Subjects who received instruction from handout materials alone (handout group) exhibited poorer performance accuracy than subjects who received live or videotaped modeling and exercise instruction. In addition, the total number of errors of the handout group was more than twice the average of the live instruction and videotape instruction groups. No differences were found between the live instruction group and the 2 groups that received videotaped instruction.

Discussion and conclusion: Live and videotaped modeling are more effective than a handout alone for achieving performance accuracy of a basic exercise program, as measured by immediate and delayed retention tests.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise*
  • Feedback*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / education*
  • Teaching
  • Upper Extremity
  • Videotape Recording*