Evaluation of the feasibility and acceptability of ReWin—A digital therapeutic rehabilitation innovation for people with stroke-related disabilities in India

Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, Vijay Karunakaran, Ashwin Balaji Kaliappan, Aadi Sai Vijaykaran, Sivakumar Ramachandran, Ramakumar Nagarajan

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Abstract

Background: Developing culturally appropriate, scalable interventions to meet the growing needs for stroke rehabilitation is a significant problem of public health concern. Therefore, systematic development and evaluation of a scalable, inclusive, technology-driven solution for community-based stroke care are of immense public health importance in India. ReWin is a digital therapeutics platform that was developed systematically. This study aimed to evaluate its feasibility and acceptability in an Indian context.

Objectives: Phase–1: To pilot the intervention for identifying operational issues and finalize the intervention. Phase–2: To assess the feasibility and acceptability of ReWin intervention in an Indian context.

Methods: Design: Mixed-methods research design. Setting: Participant's home and rehabilitation centers. Participants were selected from rehabilitation centers in South India. Participants: Ten stroke survivors and their caregivers, as well as four rehabilitation service providers were recruited for phase 1. Thirty stroke survivors who were treated and discharged from the hospital, and their caregivers as well as 10 rehabilitation service providers were recruited for Phase 2. Intervention: ReWin a digital therapeutic platform with the provider and patient app for the rehabilitation of physical disabilities following stroke was piloted. Process: Evaluation of the intervention was completed in two phases. In the first phase, the preliminary intervention was field-tested with 10 stroke survivors and four rehabilitation service providers for 2 weeks. In the second phase, the finalized intervention was provided to a further 30 stroke survivors to be used in their homes with support from their carers as well as to 10 rehabilitation service providers for 4 weeks. Outcome measures: Primary outcomes: (1) operational difficulties in using the ReWin intervention; (2) feasibility and acceptability of the ReWin intervention in an Indian setting.

Results: Field-testing identified operational difficulties related to 1. Therapeutic content; 2. Format; 3. Navigation; 4. Connectivity, 5. Video-streaming, 6. Language; and 7. Comprehensibility of the animated content. The intervention was reviewed, revised and finalized before pilot testing. Findings from the pilot testing showed that the ReWin intervention was feasible and acceptable. About 76% of the participants had used ReWin for more than half of the intervention period of 4 weeks. Ninety percentage of the stroke care providers and about 60% of the stroke survivors and caregivers felt that the content of ReWin was very relevant to the needs of the stroke survivors. Forty percentage of the stroke survivors and caregivers rated ReWin intervention as excellent. Another 45% of the stroke survivors and caregivers as well as 90% of the stroke care providers rated ReWin intervention as very good based on its overall credibility, usability, and user-friendliness.

Conclusions: ReWin has all the essential components to connect care providers and consumers not just for stroke rehabilitation but for several other health conditions with the use of several other technological features that support rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and strengthen rehabilitation in health systems worldwide. It is critical to amalgamate ReWin and other evidence-based interventions for rehabilitation to innovate scalable solutions and promote universal health coverage for stroke care worldwide.
Original languageEnglish
Article number936787
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2023

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