We describe the use of telehealth technology in the rehabilitation of a college student with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The present telerehabilitation application was necessitated by the absence of a formal university-based pulmonary rehabilitation program at Texas State University-San Marcos. Patient referral, evaluation, and rehabilitation were accomplished via interdisciplinary efforts of 3 separate university entities. Initial referral was obtained from the student health center, with pulmonary evaluation provided by the respiratory care department. Commercially available telerehabilitation equipment was then utilized to resolve exercise supervision and physiologic data-acquisition concerns. Forty-five individualized exercise sessions were administered by physical therapists via telerehabilitation distance voice and vision technology. Results reveal no substantive changes in pulmonary function test results, but there was improvement in functional aerobic capacity. Given the reduced life expectancy associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, investigators were afforded a unique opportunity to study an adult patient with this condition. Further, it appears the combined application of telerehabilitation technology and interdisciplinary cooperation among university departments is efficacious in the identification, evaluation, and rehabilitation of students with selected pulmonary disorders.
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