|dc.description.abstract||Background: Advances in the oncological field have resulted in a rapidly growing population
of cancer survivors. Post-cancer treatment, many individuals have reported the development
of persistent physical, emotional and/or cognitive issues and a reduction in physical activity
levels. Increases in the utilization of technological devices has enabled the provision of
telerehabilitation-based interventions to increase physical activity participation for the
management of long-term morbidities within this population. The current evidence-base
indicates that telerehabilitation interventions are effective; however, a systematic review is
necessary to determine whether it can be established as a more effective alternative to
Objective: The primary aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the evidence-base
pertaining to the use of telerehabilitation in the facilitation of physical activity participation and
the management of long-term morbidities in cancer survivors; and establish whether it was
more effective than conventional care.
Search Strategy: A pre-determined set of key words were utilized. The searches were
completed in April-June 2017 on the following databases: Health and Technology Assessment,
MEDLINE, CINAHL, PubMed, PEDro, Google Scholar, Cochrane, The Knowledge Network
and Science Direct.
Selection Criteria: All quantitative study designs that fulfilled a pre-determined inclusion
criteria and compared post-cancer treatment telerehabilitation interventions with conventional
management in the facilitation of physical activity and management of long-term morbidities
in cancer survivors were accepted.
Data Collection and Analysis: Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed
the methodological quality of all studies using the Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias Tool.
Studies were graded across seven domains as being ‘low’, ‘high’, or ‘unclear’ risk of bias with
Results: Eight articles graded as ‘high’ or ‘unclear’ for performance bias were selected for
inclusion in this systematic review. Of the selected studies, four found significant differences
in physical activity levels between the intervention arm and control group. Five studies also
found significant improvements in quality of life. Results of studies varied in outcomes for
psychological factors and no real differences were found cancer-related fatigue and pain.
None of the studies reported data on cost-effectiveness.
Conclusion: A definitive conclusion regarding the increased effectiveness of telerehabilitation
interventions in the facilitation of physical activity participation and management of long-term
morbidities among cancer survivors could not be drawn due to variability of outcome measures
and results. However, the majority of studies demonstrated that telerehabilitation was more
effective than conventional management in improving physical activity participation and quality
of life within this population. This promising trend indicates that telerehabilitation-based
physical activity interventions can be utilized as a more effective alternative to conventional
care in the near future; however, additional research is required in the various modalities of
telerehabilitation and its cost-effectiveness.||en_US