HumanInsight Exploring experiences with telehealth-delivered allied healthcare services for people with permanent and significant disabilities funded through a national insurance scheme: a qualitative study examining challenges and suggestions to improve services
BMJ Open. 2022 Sep 14;12(9):e065600. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-065600.
OBJECTIVES: In people with a disability, or their caregivers, who reported suboptimal experiences, the objectives were to explore: (1) challenges with telehealth-delivered allied health services during the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) suggestions to improve such services.
DESIGN: Qualitative study based on an interpretivist paradigm and a phenomenological approach.
SETTING: Participants who accessed allied healthcare via telehealth during the pandemic.
PARTICIPANTS: Data saturation was achieved after 12 interviews. The sample comprised three people with permanent or significant disabilities, and nine carers/partners/family members of people with permanent or significant disabilities, who were funded by the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme and had suboptimal experiences with telehealth. Semistructured one-on-one interviews explored experiences with telehealth and suggestions on how such services could be improved. An inductive thematic analysis was performed.
RESULTS: Six themes relating to the first study objective (challenges with telehealth) were developed: (1) evoked behavioural issues in children; (2) reliant on caregiver facilitation; (3) inhibits clinician feedback; (4) difficulty building rapport and trust; (5) lack of access to resources and (6) children disengaged/distracted. Five themes relating to the second study objective (suggestions to improve telehealth services) were developed: (1) establish expectations; (2) increase exposure to telehealth; (3) assess suitability of specific services; (4) access to support workers and (5) prepare for telehealth sessions.
CONCLUSIONS: Some people with permanent and significant disabilities who accessed allied healthcare via telehealth during the pandemic experienced challenges, particularly children. These unique barriers to telehealth need customised solutions so that people with disabilities are not left behind when telehealth services become more mainstream. Increasing experience with telehealth, setting expectations before consultations, supplying resources for therapy and assessing the suitability of clients for telehealth may help overcome some of the challenges experienced.
Powered by WPeMatico