Physiotherapists’ Perspectives Towards Using Telehealth for Acute Concussion Care

  •  Jason S. Taddeo    
  •  Sunddip Panesar-Aguilar    
  •  Paolo Sanzo    


A traumatic brain injury reflects a heterogeneous description. The mildest form has been referred to as that of a concussion, with recent steps being taken to reclassify this as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Management has developed in tandem with the understanding of what mTBI, as have methods that physiotherapists (PTs) may use to provide care. The most recent catalyst to the use of in-person versus virtual healthcare was observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its use, very little is known regarding the perceptions of the PTs who engaged in this method of care, or whether virtual physiotherapy (VPT) may be continued. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore PTs’ perspectives around the use of VPT in their current practice in adult patients with acute mTBI. A framework that centered around the self-efficacy (SE) of the PT was applied. A single, semi-structured interview involvings nine PTs who were experienced in using VPT with mTBI patients. A study-specific questionnaire was developed to explore the PTs’ perceptions related to their SE, potential barriers, as well as factors affecting future use. The results indicated SE beliefs towards VPT use were related to patient and professional factors, technology, and perceived barriers. Barriers were reported at patient-, PT-, and technological-levels. Factors related to future use of VPT were noted as being both intrinsic and extrinsic. Physiotherapists developed their SE beliefs from a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic sources. This study presented a jumping off point to inform a knowledge gap in which more research is required to evaluate PT perspectives across a greater sample size and diverse population. Further study into the perspectives of other stakeholders may be beneficial to explore related to VPT application.

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