Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2021; 25 (9): 3614-3622

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202105_25845

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on occupational therapy practice and use of telerehabilitation – A cross sectional study

B. Ganesan, K.N.K. Fong, S.K. Meena, P. Prasad, R.K.Y. Tong

Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, SAR. kytong@cuhk.edu.hk


OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 has become a global public health emergency affecting 223 countries and territories, and it drastically changed the life of public and health care delivery systems. Although many guidelines have been proposed to avoid infection from COVID-19 and to promote the use of telerehabilitation, there is still no clear answer for the current scenario and strategies of therapists’ practice during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. This study aimed to explore the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on Occupational Therapists’ (OTs) practice, the use of telerehabilitation strategies by OTs, and their employment and mental health. Also, this study aimed to explore the OTs perspective on the role of telerehabilitation during this pandemic lockdown.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Online cross-sectional survey was conducted between April 2020 and May 2020.

RESULTS: 114 OTs completed the survey. The results of this study showed that 52.8% of therapists had stress and anxiety due to COVID-19 lockdown. We found that 60.7% of OTs (n=65) used telerehabilitation, versus 36.1% (n=39) before the lockdown. Telerehabilitation approaches were mostly implemented during this lockdown for children with autistic problems (66.6%), stroke (12.9%), cerebral palsy (6.4%), learning disabilities (9.6%), Parkinson’s diseases (1.6%), and other medical conditions (2.8%). 10% of therapists reported that they lost their job, and 76% reported that this lockdown affected their income negatively. Overall, 87.8% of therapists reported that mobile technology was very useful to overcome the stress due to COVID-19 related lockdown, social isolation, and social distancing.

CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown experiences made us rethink the current approach of therapy services into alternative method (mixed mode) delivery of occupational therapy practice, which is including the combined method of video-based (telerehabilitation) consultation and face to face intervention.

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To cite this article

B. Ganesan, K.N.K. Fong, S.K. Meena, P. Prasad, R.K.Y. Tong
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on occupational therapy practice and use of telerehabilitation – A cross sectional study

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2021
Vol. 25 - N. 9
Pages: 3614-3622
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202105_25845