BACKGROUND: Monitoring the functional status of poststroke patients after they transition home is significant for rehabilitation. Mobile health (mHealth) technologies may provide an opportunity to reach and follow patients post discharge. However, the feasibility and validity of functional assessments administered by mHealth technologies are unknown. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility, validity, and reliability of functional assessments administered through the videoconference function of a mobile phone-based app compared with administration through the telephone function in poststroke patients after rehabilitation hospitalization. METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was conducted in a rehabilitation hospital in Southeast China. Participants were randomly assigned to either a videoconference follow-up (n=60) or a telephone follow-up (n=60) group. We measured the functional status of participants in each group at 2-week and 3-month follow-up periods. Half the participants in each group were followed by face-to-face home visit assessments as the gold standard. Validity was assessed by comparing any score differences between videoconference follow-up and home visit assessments, as well as telephone follow-up and home visit assessments. Reliability was assessed by computing agreements between videoconference follow-up and home visit assessments, as well as telephone follow-up and home visit assessments. Feasibility was evaluated by the levels of completion, satisfaction, comfort, and confidence in the 2 groups. RESULTS: Scores obtained from the videoconference follow-up were similar to those of the home visit assessment. However, most scores collected from telephone administration were higher than those of the home visit assessment. The agreement between videoconference follow-up and home visit assessments was higher than that between telephone follow-up and home visit assessments at all follow-up periods. In the telephone follow-up group, completion rates were 95% and 82% at 2-week and 3-month follow-up points, respectively. In the videoconference follow-up group, completion rates were 95% and 80% at 2-week and 3-month follow-up points, respectively. There were no differences in the completion rates between the 2 groups at all follow-up periods (X21=1.6, P=.21 for 2-week follow-up; X21=1.9, P=.17 for 3-month follow-up). Patients in the videoconference follow-up group perceived higher confidence than those in the telephone follow-up group at both 2-week and 3-month follow-up periods (X23=6.7, P=.04 for 2-week follow-up; X23=8.0, P=.04 for 3-month follow-up). The videoconference follow-up group demonstrated higher satisfaction than the telephone follow-up group at 3-month follow-up (X23=13.9; P=.03). CONCLUSIONS: The videoconference follow-up assessment of functional status demonstrates higher validity and reliability, as well as higher confidence and satisfaction perceived by patients, than the telephone assessment. The videoconference assessment provides an efficient means of assessing functional outcomes of patients after hospital discharge. This method provides a novel solution for clinical trials requiring longitudinal assessments. TRIAL REGISTRATION: chictr.org.cn: ChiCTR1900027626; http://www.chictr.org.cn/edit.aspx?pid=44831&htm=4.
- activities of daily living
- cell phone
- health care
- outcome and process assessment