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The telehealth program of occupational therapy among older people: an up-to-date scoping review

HumanInsight The telehealth program of occupational therapy among older people: an up-to-date scoping review

Aging Clin Exp Res. 2022 Nov 8. doi: 10.1007/s40520-022-02291-w. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The average life expectancy of older people is increasing, and most seniors desire to age at home and are capable of living independently. Occupational therapy (OT) is client-centered and uses patients' meaningful activities, or occupations, as treatment methods, thus playing an important role in later adulthood. Telemedicine removes the constraints of time and space, and the combination of OT and telemedicine can greatly improve medical efficiency and clinical effectiveness.

AIMS: The purpose of this scoping review was to examine the scope and effectiveness of telehealth OT for older people.

METHODS: This scoping review was conducted following the methodological framework proposed by Arksey and O'Malley. We searched the literature in five databases following the PICOS (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, Study design) guideline, from inception to April 2022. Two trained reviewers independently retrieved, screened, and extracted data, and used a descriptive synthesizing approach to summarize the results.

RESULTS: The initial search yielded 1249 studies from databases and manual searches, of which 20 were eligible and were included in the final review. A thematic analysis revealed five main themes related to telehealth OT: occupational assessment, occupational intervention, rehabilitation counseling, caregiver support, and activity monitoring.

CONCLUSIONS: Telehealth OT has been used widely for older people, focusing primarily on occupational assessment and intervention provided conveniently for occupational therapists and older clients. In addition, telehealth OT can monitor patients' activities and provide rehabilitation counseling and health education for the elderly and their caregivers, thus improving the security of their home life and the efficacy of OT. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth will be an effective alternative to face-to-face modalities.

PMID:36344805 | DOI:10.1007/s40520-022-02291-w

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