A resource analysis of the use of the video function of electronic devices for home exercise instruction in rehabilitation

Disabil Rehabil. 2021 May;43(10):1391-1395. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2019.1663281. Epub 2019 Sep 17.


Purpose: To compare resources required to provide paper-based versus videoed instructions for home exercises in rehabilitation.

Materials and methods: An observational cohort study included twenty-two allied health professionals (physiotherapists [n = 13], occupational therapists [n = 6] and speech pathologists [n = 3]), providing exercise instructions for n = 110 patients within a community rehabilitation program of a large metropolitan health service. Home exercise instructions were provided to patients with various health conditions. Patients chose between receiving paper-based home exercise instructions, or using their own smart technology to video their home exercises. The primary outcome measure was cost from a health service perspective, based on health professional time, paper used, and printing.

Results: A total of 128 initial home exercise instructions were provided to 110 patients, with 36 patients reviewed at least once. Each initial exercise instruction provided using electronic devices saved 5.5 min (95% CI 0.5 to 10.5) with a cost saving of Australian dollar $4.70 (95% CI -8.89 to -0.52) compared with paper-based instructions. There were no significant cost differences (MD $1.16 95% CI -3.87 to 6.18) between modes for exercise review.

Conclusions: Home exercise instructions provided on electronic devices cost less than paper-based instructions when patients are using their own smart devices.Implications for rehabilitationCosts are minimised when home exercise instructions are provided using the video function of the patient's own electronic devices compared with paper-based instructions.Since patient outcomes appear to be similar with instructions provided in electronic or paper-based mode, exercise instructions in community rehabilitation should be provided using the video function of electronic devices where these are available.

Keywords: Exercise therapy; cost-minimization analysis; instructional films and videos; multimedia; rehabilitation; video recording.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Electronics
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Physical Therapists*