Physical Therapists’ Perceptions of Telephone- and Internet Video–Mediated Service Models for Exercise Management of People With Osteoarthritis

Belinda J. Lawford, Kim L. Bennell, Jessica Kasza, Rana S. Hinman

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate physical therapists’ perceptions of, and willingness to use, telephone- and internet-mediated service models for exercise therapy for people with knee and/or hip osteoarthritis. Methods: This study used an internet-based survey of Australian physical therapists, comprising 3 sections: 1 on demographic information and 2 with 16 positively framed perception statements about delivering exercise via telephone and video over the internet, for people with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis. Levels of agreement with each statement were evaluated. Logistic regression models were used to determine therapist characteristics influencing interest in delivering telerehabilitation. Results: A total of 217 therapists spanning metropolitan, regional, rural, and remote Australia completed the survey. For telephone-delivered care, there was consensus agreement that it would not violate patient privacy (81% agreed/strongly agreed) and would save patient's time (76%), but there was less than majority agreement for 10 statements. There was consensus agreement that video-delivered care would save a patient's time (82%), be convenient for patients (80%), and not violate patient privacy (75%). Most agreed with all other perception statements about video-delivered care, except for liking no physical contact (14%). Low confidence using internet video technologies, and inexperience with telerehabilitation, were significantly associated with reduced interest in delivering telephone and/or video-based services. Conclusion: Physical therapists agree that telerehabilitation offers time-saving and privacy advantages for people with osteoarthritis and perceive video-delivered care more favorably than telephone-delivered services. However, most do not like the lack of physical contact with either service model. These findings may inform the implementation of telerehabilitation osteoarthritis services and the training needs of clinicians involved in delivering care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-408
Number of pages11
JournalArthritis Care & Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

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