Nonverbal Communication and Telerehabilitation

  • Donald B. EgolfEmail author
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


The purpose of this chapter is to show the importance of nonverbal communication in the telerehabilitation field. Examples showing the relevance of nonverbal communication are provided for a number of nonverbal areas, particularly the monitoring of the patient’s vital signs (vitalics), the physical appearance of the patient (organismics, cosmetics, and costuming), touch (haptics), body movements and postures (kinesics), facial characteristics and expressions (personics), voice (vocalics), time (chronemics), and space (proxemics). Stressed in the chapter is that both verbal and nonverbal messages are important in the therapeutic endeavor. The verbal tells, while the nonverbal shows. The vigilant therapist is always looking for any contradictions between verbal and nonverbal messages during therapy sessions. It is stressed that many off-the-shelf gaming products have made telerehabilitation sessions more visible, more affordable, and more motivating for patients.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Cerebral Palsy Cardiac Rehabilitation Nonverbal Communication Verbal Communication 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Asher D. Discrimination: a weighty matter. Psychol Today, May/June 2000;24.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bowlby J. Attachment: attachment and loss. 2nd ed. New York: Basic Books; 1999.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Burke J, Morrow P, McNeil J, et al. Vision based games for upper limb stroke rehabilitation. 2008. Available at: Accessed 14 Feb 2011.
  4. 4.
    Cardiocom. 2011. Available at: Accessed 3 Feb 2011.
  5. 5.
    Carignan C, Krebs H. Telerehabilitation robotics: bright lights, big future? J Rehabil Res Dev. 2006;43(5):695–710.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cozolino L. The neuroscience of human relationships. New York: WW Norton; 2006.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Damasio A. Descartes’ error: emotion, reason, and the human brain. New York: HarperCollins; 1994.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Durant W. The story of philosophy. New York: Pocket Books; 1974.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Egolf D. Improving the interaction rates of users of assistive communication devices. In: Proceedings of annual California State University conference on technology and persons with disabilities, Northridge, 1998.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Egolf D. Assisting the elderly with RFID technology. In: Proceedings of the annual California State University conference on technology and persons with disabilities, Los Angeles, 2007.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Egolf D, Chester S. The nonverbal factor. 2nd ed. New York: iUniverse; 2007.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fackelmann K. White-coat hypertension: high risk or harmless to the heart? Sci News. 1998; 154:380–1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fitzpatrick M, Harding L. Using the Wii for vestibular rehabilitation. Veda Publication No. C-7; 2009. Available at: Accessed 19 Sep 2012.
  14. 14.
    Frank J. Persuasion and healing. New York: Schocken Books; 1974.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Halton J. Rehabilitation with the Nintendo Wii: experiences at a rehabilitation hospital. Occupation Therapy Now, May/June 2010.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hellliker K. Face time: the benefits of seeing patients as people. The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, 3 Dec 2008, p. B9.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Huber M, Rabin B, Docan C, et al. Feasibility of modified remotely monitored in-home gaming technology for improving hand function in adolescents with cerebral palsy. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Boimed. 2010;14(2):526–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Johnson J, Bendixen R. Chapter 5: Telehealth. In: Mann W, editor. Smart technology for aging, disability, and independence. New York: Wiley; 2005.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Klaus M, Kennell J. Maternal attachment: importance of the first postpartum days. N Engl J Med. 1972;286(9):460–3.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lampert L. Fat like me. Ladies Home Journal, May 1993.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mehrabian A. Communication without words. Psychol Today. 1968;2:52–5.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Milmoe S. The doctor’s voice: postdictor of successful referral of alcoholic patients. In: Weitz S, editor. Nonverbal communication: readings with commentary. New York: Oxford University Press; 1979. p. 268–76.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Moore P. Disguised. Waco: Word Books; 1985.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Niehaus C. Xbox Kinect applications to health and medicine. 2010. Available at: http://sectorpublic.com2010/11/xbox-connect-applications-to-health-and-medicine. Accessed 2 Feb 2011.
  25. 25.
    Rosenthal R. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Psychol Today. 1968;2:47–51.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Saposnik G. Stroke rehab with Wii games. Paper presented at the American Stroke Association’s annual conference, San Antonio, 2010.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sauer G. If “you look mahvelous” you probably feel good too. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, The Magazine Section, 5 Sept 1993, p. 14–15.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Shapiro M, et al. Comparison of skin biopsy triage decisions in 49 patients with pigmented lesions and skin neoplasms. Arch Dermatol. 2004;140:525–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Simmons L. JR Martinez: new face of wounded warriors “virtual rehab” program. A press release from Armed Forces Insurance headquartered in Leavenworth, Kansas, 10 Aug 2010.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication, 1117 Cathedral of LearningUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations