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

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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.




Lovo, S., Harrison, L., O’connell, M. E., Trask, C., & Bath, B. (2019). Experience of patients and practitioners with a team and technology approach to chronic back disorder management. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 12, 855–869. https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S208888

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