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Publication Detail
Telerehabilitation for Stroke is Here to Stay. But at What Cost?
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Laver K, Walker M, Ward N
  • Publisher:
    SAGE Publications
  • Publication date:
    06/2022
  • Pagination:
    15459683221100492
  • Journal:
    Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
  • Status:
    Published online
  • Country:
    United States
  • Print ISSN:
    1545-9683
  • Language:
    eng
  • Keywords:
    digital health, rehabilitation, stroke, telerehabilitation, workforce
Abstract
The use of telerehabilitation after stroke has necessarily increased in the last 2 years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many rehabilitation teams rapidly adapted to offering their services remotely. Evidence supporting the efficacy of telerehabilitation is still scarce with few randomized controlled trials, although current systematic reviews suggest that telerehabilitation does not lead to inferior outcomes when compared to face-to-face treatment. Increasing experience of telerehabilitation however has highlighted some of the pitfalls that need to be solved before we see widespread pragmatic adoption of new practices. We must ensure that offering services using digital technologies does not exclude those who need our services. We must acknowledge that our interactions online differ, both in the way we relate to each other and in the content of clinical consultations. Furthermore, we need to consider how to support staff who may be feeling disconnected and fatigued after spending hours providing remote therapies. Telerehabilitation is likely here to stay and has potential to help deliver rehabilitation to the many people who could benefit, but there are obstacles, challenges and trade-offs to be considered and overcome.
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