Study design: A pilot randomised controlled trial. Objectives: The aims of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness and participant satisfaction of web-based physiotherapy in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Setting: Community patients of a national spinal injury unit in a university teaching hospital, Scotland, UK. Methods: Twenty-four participants were recruited and randomised to receive 8 weeks of web-based physiotherapy (intervention), twice per week, or usual care (control). Individual exercise programmes were prescribed based on participants' abilities. The intervention was delivered via a website (www.webbasedphysio.com) and monitored and progressed remotely by the physiotherapist. Results: Participants logged on to the website an average of 1.4±0.8 times per week. Between-group differences, although not significant, were more pronounced for the 6-min walk test. Participants were positive about using web-based physiotherapy and stated that they would be happy to use it again and would recommend it to others. Overall, it was rated as either good or excellent. Conclusions: Web-based physiotherapy was feasible and acceptable for people with SCI. Participants achieved good compliance with the intervention and rated the programme highly and beneficial for health and well-being at various states after injury. The results of this study warrant further work with a more homogeneous sample. Sponsorship: This study was funded by the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit, Glasgow, UK.
- spinal cord injury, telerehabilitation, exercise, physical therapy modalities