Brian Consiglio: While the COVID-19 pandemic forced health care practitioners to cancel in-person appointments, a new study at the University of Missouri found the quick shift to telehealth allowed pediatric physical therapists to continue providing essential care and services to support their young patients’ development.
Jamie Hall, an assistant teaching professor in the MU School of Health Professions, surveyed pediatric physical therapists to better understand their experiences using telehealth.
Hall: “One of our main findings was that telehealth really facilitated the idea that our caregivers were really important for an effective telehealth session, caregivers had to be even more engaged than they typically would be so they were our hands, our eyes and our ears.”
Consiglio: Hall also highlighted the convenience and flexibility telehealth provides for families in rural areas who often drive long distances to and from physical therapy clinics for their children to receive hands-on, in-person appointments.
Hall: “One of the silver linings to the pandemic is that we learned that telehealth may be an effective way to provide services to kids and that it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition, we can provide hybrid services where we do some telehealth, some in person, which may increase access and improve communication.”
Consiglio: For more on this research, visit showme.missouri.edu.
I’m Brian Consiglio, with a Spotlight on Mizzou.