Patient Support and Engagement

Research has shown the positive benefits that increased motivational factors and self-efficacy have when it comes to adherence to physical therapy-based exercise programs (1). Increased adherence to exercise programs has been proven to improve pain levels and overall quality of life for patients (2). Conversely, if motivational factors are lacking and self-efficacy is decreased, decreased adherence to exercise could be seen as well as negative impacts on pain levels and quality of life measures. Data involving motivational and support-based factors is often lacking when looking at a patient’s overall rehabilitation journey. Plethy places high importance on collecting this type of data for each patient utilizing it’s healthcare team’s expertise along with the Recupe exercise application.

Recupe is a mobile exercise application that utilizes motion sensors throughout a patient’s rehabilitation program. Guided daily exercise programs focus on improving strength and range of motion while simultaneously recording various health data including pain, adherence, as well as a symptom checklist. Behavioral data is also collected, including the patient’s mood at every exercise session. With this data, healthcare professionals have the ability to fully customize a patient’s home exercise program.

Results

Members of Plethy’s Patient Success team collected motivational and support factors for each patient prior to the start of their exercise programs during the onboarding process.  They are assigned to four categories using the data collected: patients who reported high motivation/high support, low motivation/low support, high motivation/low support, and low motivation/high support. For each of these four categories, additional data was then collected using the Recupe exercise application throughout the patients’ rehabilitation program. This data consisted of average pain level reported, average time spent exercising per day, and average repetitions of exercises per day. A summary of the results is below:

PersonaHigh Motivation, High Support’Low Motivation, Low Support’High Motivation, Low Support’Low Motivation, High Support’
Avg. Pain3.053.632.773.01
Avg. Time Spent(minutes)2247.7817.413.59
Avg. PT Reps171.42228.8212.2124.94

Discussion

Although the results above do not necessarily show clear, predictable trends there are important, key takeaways.  Overall, all four groups demonstrate sufficient time to complete repetitions, indicating proper support for all groups.  When looking at the personas that involve either a high level of motivation, high level of support, or both, the average pain level remained low throughout the patients’ rehabilitation program at 2.9 out of 10. The average time spent exercising per day was 17.66 minutes and the average number of exercise repetitions completed each day was 169.5. These numbers show that with some amount of motivational and support factors present, patients were likely to maintain low pain levels allowing them to improve adherence and consistency with their physical therapy exercise programs.

When looking at the “low motivation, low support” persona, one would expect to have the highest pain levels along with the least amount of time spent exercising and the lowest amount of exercise repetitions performed. Contrary to this assumption, although this persona did report the highest average pain level, they also completed the most amount of time and repetitions for their exercises. These results can likely be contributed to the daily guidance and education provided by the Recupe exercise application, proving that Recupe is a valuable tool to have.

In summary, both motivational and support factors help provide additional resources for patients when completing their physical therapy exercise programs. With these types of factors in place, patients are more likely to report overall lower pain levels and demonstrate more consistency and adherence to their exercise programs. It is therefore recommended that healthcare professionals provide additional motivational and support options as part of their prescribed exercises in order to create more complete, multi-factorial programs (3).

Plethy’s healthcare team as well as Plethy’s exercise application, Recupe, interact closely with each client to collect data that can provide many useful and important insights. The above are just a few of those insights that can be gathered and used to track a patient’s progress throughout their rehabilitation journey as well as make important decisions regarding their care to help optimize recovery.

Sources

  1. Rivera-Torres, S., Faehy, T., Rivera, M. Adherence to Exericse Programs in Older Adults: Informative Report. Southern Gerontology Society, Sage Journals (2019). https://doi.org/10.1177/2333721418823604
  2. Jönsson, T., Ekvall Hansson, E., Thorstensson, C.A. et al. The effect of education and supervised exercise on physical activity, pain, quality of life and self-efficacy – an intervention study with a reference group. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 19, 198 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-018-2098-3
  3. Bergbom, Sofia, et al. “Relationship among pain catastrophizing, depressed mood, and outcomes across physical therapy treatments.” Physical therapy 91.5 (2011): 754-764.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content