WORKERS COMP THOUGHT LEADERSHIP SERIES
Presented by Plethy Recupe
Good Mood Means Good Adherence
by Timothy Hui, PT, DPT, DC & Arielle West PT, DPT
Research supports the use of exercise and educational-based programs as they relate to a person’s injury recovery, improved reduction in pain levels, improved quality of life and self-efficacy (1). Studies have also found that when participating in a physical therapy exercise program, an improved, happier mood could increase adherence and improve progress, leading to improved functional outcomes (2.) Oftentimes there is a lack of information when it comes to collecting data about a patient’s mood. Recupe collects this data from the patient before and after every exercise session. From this data, various effects and outcomes of mood can be seen.
Recupe is a mobile application that is connected to a wearable, strapless motion sensor. The patient is guided through daily exercise programs while the technology records various health data including pain, range of motion, adherence, and a symptom checklist. Behavioral data is also collected before and after each session, including that of a patient’s mood. Using this type of data, Recupe healthcare professionals and health coaches can customize a patient’s home rehabilitation program, proactively detect and help prevent problems, as well as provide additional levels of encouragement when necessary.
Using the Recupe application, mood ratings were recorded by offering patients three moods to choose from: “Happy”, “Neutral”, and “Sad”. These options were presented visually by using emoji facial expressions. In total, mood ratings were captured from 487 patients over the course of the exercise plan. Age is another data point which is recorded. The average age across patients was 58.29 (sd 15.79).Of this group of patients, 51.3% were female and 48.7% were male. Note: the populations recorded below consist of patients in both group health settings as well as those receiving worker’s compensation benefits.
Patients’ adherence to their exercise programs was also recorded in the form of exercise repetitions and time spent exercising. The results are documented below:
|Avg. Reps||Avg. PT Time (minutes)|
The results show a clear correlation between mood and patient adherence to their exercise programs. Patients who reported improved, happier moods also reported lower pain levels, and demonstrated consistently increased exercise times and repetition count total. Within the Recupe application, significantly increased exercise time was recorded for those patients who chose a mood of “Happy.” Patients who marked “Neutral” for their mood, had a decrease in overall exercise time and number of repetitions completed compared to those who marked “Happy”, however still demonstrated markedly improved adherence compared to those who marked “Sad”. These patterns were expected as research has shown that increased moods and levels of self-efficacy increase motivation and decrease barriers to adherence with physical therapy (3).
When looking at the demographics, the average age was recorded as about the same for all mood categories. This shows that there is no direct correlation between age, mood and exercise adherence(exercise time and repetition count). Relating to gender, similar numbers of both males and females marked “Happy”, indicating that there is no direct correlation between gender and improved mood as it relates to exercise adherence.
In summary, the happier and less depressed a patient’s mood is, the more likely they are to complete their physical therapy exercises, ultimately leading to improved outcomes. Healthcare professionals should take more care and focus when it comes to incorporating mood encouragement practices in their rehabilitation programs. if the patient records that they are neutral or sad, increased oversight and monitoring may then be needed to ensure compliance with the home exercises.
Recupe collects data that provides many useful and important insights. The above is just one of those insights. Utilizing Recupe throughout a patient’s rehabilitation journey provides a customized exercise and education program that works to optimize recovery and improve outcomes across the board.