The aim of this project was to investigate the experiences of allied healthcare (diabetes education, exercise physiology, occupational therapy, podiatry, osteopathy, and speech pathology) clinicians and clients who had provided/accessed care via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, including their perceived effectiveness, advantages, disadvantages, acceptability, and safety of telehealth.
Most clients and clinicians used telehealth for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, most clients and clinicians were satisfied with the care they received or provided via telehealth. Additionally, 4 in 5 clinicians planned to continue offering telehealth services once the COVID-19 pandemic had ended and 1 in 2 clients were likely to choose to access allied health care via telehealth after the pandemic.
These findings may be used to inform decision making around future funding of telehealth services. Irrespective of client preference, there will be times where in-person consultations are not feasible relying on telehealth services to provide continuity of care. This study has provided information that may be used to improve the quality of allied health care delivered via telehealth to better meet the needs of clients and clinicians.
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Filbay S, Hinman R, Lawford B, Fry R, Bennell K. Telehealth by allied health practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic: An Australian wide survey of clinicians and clients. April 2021. The University of Melbourne. Melbourne, Australia.
This report was prepared by Dr Stephanie Filbay, Prof Rana Hinman, Dr Belinda Lawford, Rhyan Fry, and Prof Kim Bennell. This research was funded by Allied Health Professions Australia, Australian Diabetes Educators Association, Exercise & Sports Science Australia, Occupational Therapy Australia, Osteopathy Australia, Australian Podiatry Association and Speech Pathology Australia.
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