1. In this study, videoconferencing exercise interventions were effective at improving exercise capacity and quality of life.

2. Videoconferencing may be at least as effective as in-person interventions and superior to no intervention.

Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)

The benefits of in-person exercise programs are well known; however, participation in these have sometimes fallen below 50%. Telemonitoring with real time feedback from clinicians has been shown in other contexts to improve clinical markers, but this has not yet been evaluated for exercise in the chronic disease population. As a result, the objective of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of videoconferencing exercise interventions in patients with chronic disease.

Of 11945 identified studies, 29 studies (n=1049), of which 12 were comparator trials (n=757), were included from database inception until March 2021. Studies were included if they assessed the effect of an exercise intervention delivered via videoconferencing on exercise capacity and/or quality of life in patients with chronic disease. Studies were excluded if patients underwent rehabilitation following arthroplasty surgery, balance or neuromotor-focused exercise programming, amongst others. Study quality was assessed using the Downs and Black checklist as well as the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). Meta analyses were conducted for between-group comparisons of exercise capacity and quality of life.

Results demonstrated that videoconferencing exercise interventions were effective at improving exercise capacity and quality of life. Furthermore, videoconferencing may be at least as effective as in-person interventions and superior to no intervention. However, this study was limited by the inclusion of a small amount of comparator trials which may have introduced a small sample bias. Despite this, the present study demonstrates the feasibility and effectiveness of videoconferencing as a means to improve exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with chronic disease.

Click to read the study in British Journal of Sports Medicine

Image: PD

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