Ten years of telerehabilitation: A literature overview of technologies and clinical applications

NeuroRehabilitation. 2010;27(4):287-304. doi: 10.3233/NRE-2010-0612.


This paper aims at delivering a structured overview of telerehabilitation literature by analysing the entire set of articles under the search terms "telerehabilitation" or "tele-rehabilitation" to portray "state of the art" ten years after the publication of the first scientific article on the topic. A structured study has been conducted by considering all those articles containing the word "telerehabilitation" or "tele-rehabilitation". Medline, Embase, Cochrane, UK Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health databases have been interrogated for articles between 1998 and 2008. 146 scientific articles were found. 56 articles focus on patient treatment, 23 are reviews, 3 are to be considered as both patient treatment papers and reviews, 53 are either technical reports, system descriptions or analyses of new approaches; 8 are general discussion on telerehabilitation. The present paper draw the scenario of the first ten years of telerehabilitation, focussing on clinical applications and technologies. Basically, it confirms the lack of comprehensive studies providing evidence for supporting decision and policy-makers in adopting telerehabilitation technologies in the clinical practice. An overall lack of standardisation in the used terminology also results from the analysis of keywords, which is typical of quite recent fields of application.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Technology
  • Humans
  • Rehabilitation / trends*
  • Telemedicine / trends*