Occupational therapy is an evidence based, science-driven discipline and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA.org) provides an abundance of evidence-based resources for families, teachers and administrators. AOTA recognizes online OT as effective.
SUMMARY: This pilot study was conducted with children attending an online charter school with difficulties in the areas of fine motor and/or visual motor skills which impacted success with handwriting. Each participant completed a virtual evaluation and six 30-minute intervention sessions. The Print Tool™ Assessment was used to determine progress pre- and post-program. Outcomes revealed improvements in handwriting performance for most students and high satisfaction rates.
SUMMARY: Occupational therapy practitioners use telehealth as a service delivery model to help clients develop skills; incorporate assistive technology and adaptive techniques; modify work, home, or school environments; and create health-promoting habits and routines. Benefits of a telehealth service delivery model include increased accessibility of services to clients who live in remote or underserved areas, improved access to providers and specialists otherwise unavailable to clients, prevention of unnecessary delays in receiving care, and workforce enhancement through consultation and research among others (Cason, 2012a, 2012b). By removing barriers to accessing care, including social stigma, travel, and socioeconomic and cultural barriers, the use of telehealth as a service delivery model within occupational therapy leads to improved access to care and ameliorates the impact of personnel shortages in underserved areas. Telehealth has potential as a service delivery model in each major practice area within occupational therapy.
SUMMARY: Using telerehabilitation for early intervention therapy services, rural families received occupational therapy services over a 12-week period. Results indicated that telerehabilitation has the potential to cost-effectively meet the therapeutic needs of children living in rural areas where provider shortages exist, and can ameliorate health disparities and improve access to rehabilitation services.
SUMMARY: Parents, teachers and providers reported significant improvement in the following three areas upon the introduction of school-based telehealth technology in Hawaii:
SUMMARY: Baseline characteristics between telerehabilitation and conventional rehabilitation groups were similar, and all participants in telerehabilitation intervention had significant improvement on all outcome measures. Participants in the telerehabilitation group achieved outcomes comparable to those of the conventional rehabilitation group with regard to flexion and extension range of motion, muscle strength, limb girth, pain, timed up-and-go test, quality of life, and clinical gait and WOMAC scores. Participants in the telerehabilitation group showed better outcomes for the Patient-Specific Functional Scale and the stiffness subscale of the WOMAC. The telerehabilitation intervention was well received by participants, who reported a high level of satisfaction with this technology.
SUMMARY: Using videoconferencing, 17 balance-impaired senior citizens living independently participated in a real-time, supervised, group Tai Chi Quan class from their own homes three times per week for 15 weeks in order to improve balance and reduce the fear of falling. Those who completed the study had significant improvement, were able to operate the videoconferencing equipment and expressed interest in similar online exercise classes in the future.