Characteristics and perceptions of telerehabilitation consultations by neuropediatric physical therapists during the COVID-19 pandemic
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic brought a strong discussion about telerehabilitation, especially in countries where its practice was not allowed previous the pandemic. In the neuropediatric rehabilitation field evidence of the effectiveness of this modality of assistance and data about provider and family’s perceptions are scarce. Objective: To evaluate the characteristics of telerehabilitation physical therapy consultations for children with neurological diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic and report the perceptions of physical therapists about this modality of assistance. Methods: An online survey was created and administered to Brazilian neuropediatric physical therapists. The survey consisted of demographics data, questions about the characteristics of telerehabilitation consultations, and physical therapists’ perception of telerehabilitation assistance. Results: From July to September 2020, 394 physical therapists responded to the questionnaire. The most of them took 21 to 30 minutes per telemonitoring session (26.9%), offered one session per week (61.0%), and used electronic messages as the main method of delivery (39.9%). The main difficulty reported was caregivers’ lack of understanding about handling during sessions (41.2%) and problems (16.7%) with internet connection. Additionally, most of them reported that it is highly important important to provide healthcare via telerehabilitation to the economically disadvantaged. Conclusion: The findings of this study provide insight into the complex and challenging process of telerehabilitation assistance during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the reported challenges, telerehabilitation can be an opportunity to better understand children’s activities and participation in home context.
Keywords: COVID-19. Telerehabilitation. Pediatrics. Rehabilitation.
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