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Uptake of Tele-Rehabilitation in Finland amongst Rehabilitation Professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kela Research, Social Insurance Institution of Finland, 00250 Helsinki, Finland
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Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4383; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084383
Received: 9 February 2021 / Revised: 13 April 2021 / Accepted: 15 April 2021 / Published: 20 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Health)
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged rehabilitation professionals to provide therapy through telepractice. The aims of this study were to investigate and compare the uptake of tele-rehabilitation (TR) in Finland amongst different rehabilitation professions during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as potential differences between professions in carrying out TR. In addition, the goal was to explore in more depth therapists’ views about the features that work and challenges of TR. A total of 850 therapists in the physio-, occupational-, speech and language-, and psychotherapy professions participated in the survey that included both quantitative and open-ended questions. The results show that 52% of all the therapists who participated in this study did take up TR with all or most of their clients during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of all professionals who have carried out tele-rehabilitation during the pandemic, 46% planned to use TR regularly or probably also after the pandemic. There were also clear differences between the professions. Psychotherapists carried out TR during the pandemic and planned to use it also after the pandemic more often than the other professional groups. The qualitative analysis revealed that therapists identified several beneficial but also multiple challenging features of TR. Psychotherapists reported less challenges than other professions. The pandemic has clearly sped up the use of TR in rehabilitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: tele-rehabilitation; telepractice; COVID-19 pandemic; rehabilitation professionals; digital health; mRehab; physiotherapy; occupational therapy; psychotherapy; speech and language therapy tele-rehabilitation; telepractice; COVID-19 pandemic; rehabilitation professionals; digital health; mRehab; physiotherapy; occupational therapy; psychotherapy; speech and language therapy
MDPI and ACS Style

Heiskanen, T.; Rinne, H.; Miettinen, S.; Salminen, A.-L. Uptake of Tele-Rehabilitation in Finland amongst Rehabilitation Professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4383. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084383

AMA Style

Heiskanen T, Rinne H, Miettinen S, Salminen A-L. Uptake of Tele-Rehabilitation in Finland amongst Rehabilitation Professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):4383. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084383

Chicago/Turabian Style

Heiskanen, Tuija, Hanna Rinne, Sari Miettinen, and Anna-Liisa Salminen. 2021. "Uptake of Tele-Rehabilitation in Finland amongst Rehabilitation Professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 8: 4383. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084383

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