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Experience of patients and practitioners with a team and technology approach to chronic back disorder management

Authors Lovo S, Harrison L, O'Connell ME, Trask C, Bath B

Received 15 March 2019

Accepted for publication 1 August 2019

Published 18 October 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 855—869


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Stacey Lovo,1 L Harrison,1 ME O’Connell,2 C Trask,3 B Bath1,3

1School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 2Z4, Canada; 2College of Arts and Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A5, Canada; 3Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 2Z4, Canada

Correspondence: Stacey Lovo
School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Saskatchewan, Health Sciences Building, E-Wing Suite 3400, 3rd Floor, 104 Clinic Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 2Z4, Canada
Tel +1 306 241 9545

Purpose: Although rural and remote residents face general challenges accessing health care in comparison to urban dwellers, care for musculoskeletal conditions like chronic back disorders (CBD) is particularly challenging for rural and remote residents due to lack of access to physical yherapists. Telerehabilitation such as secure videoconferencing offers one solution to this disparity in rural care delivery, but incorporating the perspectives of health practitioners and patients is important when developing new sustainable care models.
Patients and methods: This study investigated the experiences of practitioners and patients during a novel interprofessional model of assessment where an urban-based physical therapist used videoconferencing to virtually join a rural nurse practitioner and a rural patient with CBD. Patient surveys and semi-structured interviews of practitioners and patients were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.
Results: Most patients were “very satisfied” (62.1%) or “satisfied” (31.6%) with the overall experience, and “very” (63.1%) or “somewhat (36.9%) confident” with the assessment. Thematic analysis of interviews revealed that this novel assessment method identified: access to care for CBD, effective interprofessional practice, enhanced clinical care for CBD, and technology considerations.
Conclusion: Patient satisfaction with the telerehabilitation model of care was high. Patients and practitioners reported their experiences were impacted by access to care, interprofessional practice, enhanced care for CBD and technology. These findings will be useful in the development of patient-centered models of care utilizing telehealth strategies.

Keywords: telemedicine, interprofessional relations, low back pain, physical therapy, patient-centered care

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