Abstract #1
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Marie-Madeleine Bernard, M.D., Mathias Fruhwirth, P.Eng., Ottawa (ON)


Over the last decade more convincing evidences are indicating that isolation leads to increased morbidity and mortality. This becomes a major concern when considering the status of frail seniors who no longer have the ability to freely commute nor to remain part of the main stream of family and community life. Objectives: The PACE 2000 International Foundation's mandate is to produce "Programs for the Autonomy and Communication for the Elderly". PACE 2000 programmed and adapted a video conferencing equipment for the needs of private users, particularly for frail seniors and individuals with disabilities. The "personal mode VC station" is geared at everyday use by home bound individuals who need no prior technical experience.

Subjects: Over the past four years, the participants of VC sessions were essentially:- seniors in their eighties and nineties, residents of Long Term Care institutions (Centre d'accueil Champlain, and the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre), - single retirees in their seventies living in their home, - newly landed immigrants (Reception house, Catholic Immigration Centre), and - students enrolled in the physiotherapy program , social sciences & psychology programs, University of Ottawa (Joan Mc Comas,PT,PhD; Philippe Cappeliez, PhD.) and high school students (Almonte District High School, Rideau High school, Nepean High school).

Material & Methods: PACE 2000 conducted 3 surveys - in 1997 (56 participants) - winter 1998-1999 (60 participants) - 2001 (67 participants in long term VC programs), 2 evaluations of intergenerational educational programs in a virtual classroom and one medical trial for the follow up of seniors in their home after orthopaedic surgery. Results show excellent ratings in the VC communication in a room setting, the importance of intergenerational coordinators in the success of a VC program, and the potential for multiple applications for home bound users. Cross-cultural and recreational programs usually require 2-4 sessions before optimum involvement, whereas physiotherapy coaching and tele-home follow up generate immediate receptivity and compliance. Conclusions: Simplified Video Conferencing stations for home users could become an indispensable adjunct of supportive housing for seniors and of Long Term Care services.

To be presented at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Telehealth, on October 22, 2001, Toronto, Canada ("e-volving Telehealth, the Next Level").


Instrumentation and Reliability.

Mathias Fruhwirth, P.Eng., Marie-Madeleine Bernard, M.D., Ottawa (ON)

The PACE 2000 International Foundation provides home bound seniors with a real-time video-conferencing (VC) link to health centers and to various community organizations. Two VC modules were designed by PACE 2000: A
VideoConference-Based Goniometer (VCBG), (see definition of goniometer below) as part of a hospital VC module, and a personal mode, with customized video-display set up and simplified access for frail seniors, people with disabilities and persons who have no computer experience.

VCBG was created to measure range of motion (ROM) via VC, thereby facilitating rehabilitation in a home setting.

Description of instrumentation:

The Personal module is readily accepted by frail seniors and fosters compliance to medical follow up. PACE 2000's VCBG proves to be a highly reliable tool when taken within or between therapists.

In an aging population with a three fold increase in physiotherapy needs just over the past year in the Ottawa area, rehabilitation and home-based video conferencing may become inseparable for the years to come.

To be presented at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Telehealth, October 23, 2001, Toronto, Canada ("e-volving Telehealth, the Next Level").

The Universal Goniometer, (a 360 degree baseline plastic protractor with arm lengths of 18 cm) is most commonly used in clinical settings.

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