Approximately 30% of individuals with stroke report unmet lower extremity recovery needs after formal hospital-based rehabilitation programmes have ended. Telerehabilitation can mitigate issues surrounding accessibility of rehabilitation services by providing ongoing support to promote recovery, however, no review exists that is specific to telerehabilitation for lower extremity recovery. This paper describes the protocol of a systematic review and meta-analysis that aims to describe and evaluate the effectiveness of lower extremity-focused telerehabilitation interventions on clinical outcomes poststroke.
Methods and analysis
A systematic review of relevant electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Google Scholar, PEDro, PubMed and Cochrane Library) between inception and February 2022 will be undertaken to identify eligible interventional studies published in English that compared telerehabilitation focusing on lower extremity recovery to another intervention or usual care for individuals living in the community with stroke. Clinical outcomes examined will include those related to physical function and impairment, activities and participation that are typically assessed in clinical practice and research. Two reviewers will independently screen results, identify studies to be included for review, extract data and assess risk of bias. Meta-analyses will be performed if sufficient data exist. Sensitivity analyses will be performed by removing studies with low methodological quality, and subgroup analyses will be performed if data allow by stratifying papers based on salient demographic or stroke factors and comparing results. The reporting of the review will follow the recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. The quality of evidence regarding various outcomes for telerehabilitation for lower extremity recovery poststroke will be assessed according to the Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach.
Ethics and dissemination
No ethical approval or informed consent is needed for this systematic review. The findings of this review will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.
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