AffiliationDepartment of Trauma, Orthopaedics, Pelvic and Acetabular Reconstructive Surgery, Adelaide and Meath Incorporating the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin 24, Ireland. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fracture Fixation, Internal
Range of Motion, Articular
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CitationSkype: a tool for functional assessment in orthopaedic research. 2012, 18 (2):94-8 J Telemed Telecare
PublisherJournal of telemedicine and telecare
JournalJournal of telemedicine and telecare
AbstractSkype is a free program which enables PC users to make video calls to other users with Internet access. We carried out a prospective review of all acromioclavicular joint hook plates for lateral-third clavicle fractures over a five-year period. Functional assessment with Oxford and Constant shoulder scores were carried out using Skype and compared to outpatient review using the Bland-Altman method. Of 36 patients (mean age 36 years), 33 had a computer with a video camera, all 33 had Internet access and 22 were already users of Skype. In total 29 patients were happy to take part in Skype assessment (83%). In comparison with outpatient review, there was a mean difference in the Oxford score of -0.48 (95% confidence interval -0.84, -0.12); the mean difference for the Constant score was -0.68 (95% confidence interval -1.08, -0.29). These differences were not clinically significant, confirming that Skype can be used as an alternative to goniometry in this clinical setting. A survey showed that 93% of 29 patients surveyed preferred the use of Skype for follow-up, mainly due to the convenience and cost-saving involved. The study demonstrates the potential for this new technique in providing patients with more options for follow-up.
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