A Device for Prehabilitation of Total Knee Replacement Surgery (Slider): Usability Study

Islam, Riasat; Gooch, Daniel; Karlakki, Sudheer and Price, Blaine (2023). A Device for Prehabilitation of Total Knee Replacement Surgery (Slider): Usability Study. JMIR Formative Research, 7, article no. e48055.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2196/48055


Background: Rehabilitation, or “prehabilitation,” is essential in preparing for and recovering from knee replacement surgery. The recent demand for these services has surpassed available resources, a situation further strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a pivot toward digital solutions such as web- or app-based videos and wearables. These solutions, however, face challenges with user engagement, calibration requirements, and skin contact issues. This study evaluated the practicality of a low-contact, gamified device designed to assist with prehabilitation exercises.

Objective: The study aimed to assess the practicality and user-friendliness of a newly designed physiotherapy device (Slider) that enables exercise monitoring without the need for direct contact with the skin.

Methods: A total of 17 patients awaiting knee replacement surgery at a UK National Health Service (NHS) hospital participated in this study. They used the device over a 2-week period and subsequently provided feedback through a usability and acceptability questionnaire.

Results:The study was completed by all participants, with a majority (13/17, 76%) finding the device intuitive and easy to use. The majority of patients were satisfied with the device’s ability to meet their presurgery physiotherapy requirements (16/17, 94%) and expressed a willingness to continue using it (17/17, 100%). No safety issues or adverse effects were reported by the participants.

Conclusions: The results indicate that the device was found to be a feasible option for patients to conduct presurgery physiotherapy exercises independently, away from a clinical setting. Further research involving a larger and more diverse group of participants is recommended to validate these findings more robustly.

Plain Language Summary

In this study, we looked at how well a new device called the Slider® worked for patients waiting for knee replacement surgery. Many people need rehabilitation before and after knee surgery, but not everyone can get in-person sessions. The COVID-19 pandemic made this problem worse, and more people started using videos and wearables at home. However, these methods have some issues like being hard to use, not tracking progress well, and causing skin problems.
So, we tested the Slider®. It's a simple device that makes exercising fun and measures how well you do without touching your skin. We asked 17 patients waiting for knee surgery to use it for two weeks and then tell us what they thought.
The results were positive. Most patients found the Slider® easy to use, and almost everyone was happy with it. They said it met their needs for physiotherapy before surgery. Everyone agreed they would use the Slider® again, and no one had safety concerns.
However, our study was small, and we need more research with a diverse group of people to be sure. We also found a small problem with the questions we asked about mistakes, so we'll need to improve that in the future.
In summary, our study shows that the Slider® seems to work well for people getting ready for knee surgery.

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