Michael Stickland, in the faculty's Division of Pulmonary Medicine, and colleague G. Fred MacDonald know that rehabilitation is vital to improving patients' quality of life and keeping them out of hospital. That is tough, though, when there are limited respiratory services north of Edmonton and most are clustered in urban centres across the province.
"The lung function [of patients in rural communities] was similar to those in urban centres, but the rural groups had worse quality of life and worse exercise tolerance," said Stickland. "So there's some evidence to show that these patients are not managing as well in rural regions as they are in Edmonton and [other] urban centres."
MacDonald came up with the idea of using telehealth technology to reach out to patients in these communities.
"We beam the education sessions to outlying rural regions and conduct pulmonary rehab in towns like Camrose and Grande Prairie that normally wouldn't have access," said Stickland. Thirteen rural sites jumped on board when the telehealth rehab program was launched from the Centre for Lung Health, operated by Covenant Health at Edmonton's General Hospital.
Now, numerous patients in northern Alberta communities gather around televisions twice a week to learn more about the disease that has changed their life and could take their life. They also do exercises at their home sites to help improve their quality of life, and they are able to get consultations with pulmonologists through telehealth.
This marks the first time that telehealth has been used in pulmonary medicine in Alberta.
A short time after the program was launched, Stickland studied the effectiveness of the program and the results were very positive. Patients' quality of life had improved and they were more able to handle exercise after two months in the program. This research was published in the Canadian Respiratory Journal.
"This is a nice partnership between the U of A and Covenant Health," said Stickland, "taking good clinical practice and a good clinical idea, translating that to rural areas and showing it's effective through research."
The Centre for Lung Health, which sees about 400 patients a year, is now looking at ideas such as podcasts and DVDs that people can use for the education portion of rehabilitation.
"We're interested in investing in something that's home-based because one of the top reasons people don't come to rehab is transportation," said Stickland.
Quinn Phillips | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy