A Six-Month Telerehabilitation Programme Delivered via Readily Accessible Technology Is Acceptable to People Following Stroke: A Qualitative Study

Saywell, Nicola L
Mudge, Suzie
Kayes, Nicola M
Stavric, Verna
Taylor, Denise
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Journal Article
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Elsevier BV

Objective To explore the experiences of participants during a six-month, post-stroke telerehabilitation programme.

Design A qualitative descriptive study to investigate participant experiences of ACTIV (Augmented Community Telerehabilitation Intervention), a six-month tailored exercise programme delivered by physiotherapists primarily using readily accessible telecommunication technology. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were used to collect data, which were analysed using thematic analysis.

Setting Interviews conducted in participants’ homes or a community facility.

Participants Participants were eligible if they had a stroke in the previous 18 months and had participated in ACTIV.

Results Twenty-one participants were interviewed. Four key themes were constructed from the data: 1. ‘ACTIV was not what I call physio’ (it differed from participants’ expectations of physiotherapy, but they reported many positive aspects to the programme). 2. ‘There’s somebody there’ (ongoing support from the physiotherapists helped participants find strategies to continue improving). 3. ‘Making progress’ (in the face of barriers, small improvements were valued). 4. ‘What I really want’ (participant goals were frequently more general than therapy goals and involved progress towards getting back to ‘normal’).

Conclusions Although ACTIV was not what participants expected from physiotherapy, the majority found contact from a physiotherapist reduced the feeling of being left to struggle alone. Most participants found a programme with minimal face-to-face contact augmented by phone calls and encouraging text messages to be helpful and acceptable.

4201 Allied Health and Rehabilitation Science , 4203 Health Services and Systems , 4206 Public Health , 42 Health Sciences , Clinical Research , Clinical Trials and Supportive Activities , Stroke , 6.7 Physical , 6 Evaluation of treatments and therapeutic interventions , Stroke , 1103 Clinical Sciences , 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences , 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences , Rehabilitation , 3202 Clinical sciences , 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science
Physiotherapy, ISSN: 0031-9406 (Print), Elsevier BV. doi: 10.1016/j.physio.2023.05.001
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