Wearable motion sensor device to facilitate rehabilitation in patients with shoulder adhesive capsulitis: Pilot study to assess feasibility

Yu Pin Chen, Chung Ying Lin, Ming J. Tsai, Tai Yuan Chuang, Oscar Kuang Sheng Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adhesive capsulitis (AC) of the shoulder is a common disorder that painfully reduces the shoulder range of motion (ROM) among middle-aged individuals. Although physical therapy with home-based exercises is widely advised to restore ROM in the treatment of AC, clinical results vary owing to inconsistent patient compliance. Objective: In this study, we aimed to verify the feasibility of a treatment model that involves applying a wearable motion sensor device to assist patients conduct home-based exercises to improve training compliance and the accuracy of exercises, with the ultimate goal of improving the functional recovery of patients with AC. Methods: The motion sensor device was comprised of inertial measurement unit-based sensors and mobile apps for patients and physicians, offering shoulder mobility tracing, home-based exercise support, and progress monitoring. The interrater reliability of shoulder mobility measurement using the motion sensor device on 10 healthy participants and 15 patients with AC was obtained using an intraclass correlation coefficient analysis and compared with the assessments performed by two highly experienced physicians. A pilot prospective control trial was then carried out to allocate the 15 patients with AC to two groups: home-based exercise group and motion sensor-assisted rehabilitation group. Changes in active and passive shoulder ROM, pain and functional scores, and exercise completion rates were compared between the groups during a treatment period of 3 months. Results: Shoulder ROM, as measured using the motion sensor device, exhibited good to excellent reliability based on the comparison with the measurements of two physicians (intraclass correlation coefficient range, 0.771 to 0.979). Compared with patients with AC in the home-based exercise group, those in the motion sensor-assisted rehabilitation group exhibited better shoulder mobility and functional recovery and a higher exercise completion rate during and after 3 months of rehabilitation. Conclusions: Motion sensor device-assisted home-based rehabilitation for the treatment of AC is a useful treatment model for telerehabilitation that enhances the compliance of patients through training, thus improving functional recovery. This helps overcome important obstacles in physiotherapy at home by providing comprehensible and easily accessible exercise instructions, enhancing compliance, ensuring the correctness of exercise, and monitoring the progress of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17032
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Home-based exercise
  • Motion sensor
  • Rehabilitation
  • Telehealth, telemonitoring
  • Telerehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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