Telerehabilitation Versus Traditional Care Following Total Hip Replacement: A Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol Academic Article uri icon


  • Total hip replacement (THR) is the gold standard treatment for severe hip osteoarthritis. Effectiveness of physical rehabilitation for THR patients following discharge from hospital is supported by evidence; however, barriers such as geographical location and transport can limit access to appropriate health care. One solution to this issue is using an alternative model of care using telerehabilitation technology to deliver rehabilitation programs directly into patients' homes. A telerehabilitation model may also have potential health care cost savings for health care providers.This study aims to determine if a telerehabilitation model of care delivered remotely is as effective as face-to-face rehabilitation in the THR population and cost effective for health care providers and patients.A total of 70 people undergoing THR will be recruited to participate in a randomized, single-blind, controlled noninferiority clinical trial. The trial will compare a technology-based THR rehabilitation program to in-person care. On discharge from hospital, participants randomized to the in-person group will receive usual care, defined as a paper home exercise program (HEP) targeting strengthening exercises for quadriceps, hip abductors, extensors, and flexors; they will be advised to perform their HEP 3 times per day. At 2, 4, and 6 weeks postoperatively, they will receive a 30-minute in-person physiotherapy session with a focus on gait retraining and reviewing and progressing their HEP. The telerehabilitation protocol will involve a program similar in content to the in-person rehabilitation program, except delivery will be directly into the homes of the participants via telerehabilitation technology on an iPad. Outcomes will be evaluated preoperatively, day of discharge from in-patient physiotherapy, 6 weeks and 6 months postoperatively. The primary outcome will be the quality of life subscale of the hip disability and osteoarthritis outcome score, measured at 6 weeks. Both intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses as recommended in the extension of the Consolidated Standards for Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guideline for noninferiority trials will be performed.Recruitment commenced in September 2015 and is expected to be completed by June 2017. Data collection will be completed by December 2017. It is anticipated the results from this trial will be published by July 2018.Previous research investigating telerehabilitation in postoperative orthopedic conditions has yielded promising results. If shown to be as effective as in-person care, telerehabilitation after THR could be helpful in addressing access issues in this population. Furthermore, it may help reduce the cost of health care provision by enabling patients to take a more independent approach to their rehabilitation.Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12615000824561; (Archived by WebCite at

publication date

  • 2017