Ms Linh Le-Kavanagh1, Ms Sarah Pearson1
1Joondalup Health Campus, Joondalup, Australia
The Stroke Outpatient Clinic at Joondalup Health Campus (JHC) provides follow up allied health rehabilitation to stroke patients recently discharged from hospital. The temporary closure of the clinic, secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic, led to the initiation of tele-services in the physiotherapy department at JHC, via video conference (Zoom) and/or phone consults. Previous studies have suggested that this delivery model improves access to treatment and enhances patient outcomes.
This was a retrospective study that used a customised questionnaire of current clients of the Stroke Outpatient Physiotherapy Clinic at JHC, to evaluate patient satisfaction. Review of patient outcomes was investigated with the Stroke Impact Scale-16 (SIS-16) outcome measure.
From the study we can conclude that clients were satisfied with remote access to rehab, in the absence of face to face consults. Though, overall responses suggested that face to face consults are preferred if available. An additional benefit of the implementation of the tele-physio services was an opportunity to ‘close the geographical gap’ that patients can suffer across the large Northern Corridor of Perth, WA.
Beyond this study there is a need to explore the impact of telehealth service provision on clinical outcomes; including the feasibility of performing validated objective measures and the safety and reliability of completing initial assessments.
For over 18 years, Linh Le-Kavanagh has worked as a physiotherapist in clinical and management roles across both the private and public WA health sectors. Her main area of expertise is in neurological rehabilitation and she is currently completing her specialisation in this field with the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Linh works as senior physiotherapist in the Stroke Outpatient Clinic at Joondalup Health Campus and tutors physiotherapy students at Curtin University in WA. She is currently on secondment at the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science and is passionate about research and the delivery of evidence-based practice. In her spare time Linh enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and keeping fit.