Transition to multidisciplinary pediatric telerehabilitation during the covid-19 pandemic: Strategy development and implementation

Tal Krasovsky, Tamar Silberg, Sharon Barak, Etzyona Eisenstein, Neta Erez, Irit Feldman, Dafna Guttman, Pnina Liber, Smadar Zohar Patael, Hadar Sarna, Yaara Sadeh, Pnina Steinberg, Jana Landa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Telerehabilitation offers a unique solution for continuity of care in pediatric rehabilitation under physical distancing. The major aims of this study were to: (1) describe the development of telerehabilitation usage guidelines in a large hospital in Israel, and to (2) evaluate the implementation of telerehabilitation from the perspectives of healthcare practitioners and families. An expert focus group developed guidelines which were disseminated to multidisciplinary clinicians. Following sessions, clinicians filled The Clinician Evaluation of Telerehabilitation Service (CETS), a custom-built feedback questionnaire on telerehabilitation, and parents completed the client version of the Therapist Presence Inventory (TPI-C) and were asked to rate the effectiveness of sessions on an ordinal scale. Four goals of telerehabilitation sessions were defined: (1) maintenance of therapeutic alliance, (2) provision of parental coping strategies, (3) assistance in maintaining routine, and (4) preventing functional deterioration. Principal Components Analysis was used for the CETS questionnaire and the relationships of CETS and TPI-C with child’s age and the type of session were evaluated using Spearman’s correlations and the Kruskal–Wallis H test. In total, sixty-seven telerehabilitation sessions, with clients aged 11.31 ± 4.8 years, were documented by clinicians. Three components (child, session, parent) explained 71.3% of the variance in CETS. According to therapists, their ability to maintain the therapeutic alliance was generally higher than their ability to achieve other predefined goals (p < 0.01). With younger children, the ability to provide feedback to the child, grade treatment difficulty and provide coping strategies to the parents were diminished. Families perceived the therapist as being highly present in therapy regardless of treatment type. These results demonstrate a potential framework for the dissemination of telerehabilitation services in pediatric rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1484
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Children
  • Coronavirus
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Presence
  • Telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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