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American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation:
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31820b140f
Brief Report: SCI

A Telerehabilitation Intervention for Persons with Spinal Cord Dysfunction

Houlihan, Bethlyn Vergo MSW, MPH; Jette, Alan PhD, PT; Paasche-Orlow, Michael MD, MA, MPH; Wierbicky, Jane RN; Ducharme, Stan PhD; Zazula, Judi MS, OTR/L; Cuevas, Penelope MD; Friedman, Robert H. MD; Williams, Steve MD

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Pressure ulcers and depression are common preventable conditions secondary to a spinal cord dysfunction. However, few successful, low-cost preventive approaches have been identified. We have developed a dynamic automated telephone calling system, termed Care Call, to empower and motivate people with spinal cord dysfunction to improve their skin care, seek treatment for depression, and appropriately use the healthcare system. Herein, we describe the design and development of Care Call, its novel features, and promising preliminary results of our pilot testing. Voice quality testing showed that Care Call was able to understand all voice characteristics except very soft-spoken speech. Importantly, pilot study subjects felt Care Call could be particularly useful for people who are depressed, those with acute injury, and those without access to quality care. The results of a randomized controlled trial currently underway to evaluate Care Call will be available in 2011.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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