Pediatric Teleheath: Opportunities Created by the COVID-19 and Suggestions to Sustain Its Use to Support Families of Children with Disabilities
Camden, Chantal; Silva, Mindy
Aims: Telehealth is being rapidly adopted by physical and occupational therapists in pediatrics as a strategy to maintain services during the COVID-19 crisis. This perspective presents a mix of theoretical and practice perspectives to support the implementation of telehealth. Although research evidence is just emerging, there is sufficient indication to believe telehealth is effective. However, which telehealth strategies are best for which children and families, and which intervention goals, are not yet clear. Methods: We discuss how different telehealth strategies (e.g. videoconferencing, emails, phone calls, online programs) are being used to address specific intervention goals. Comments from therapists using telehealth and examples of practices in different context and with different populations are provided. We discuss how newly adopted telehealth practices could be included in future hybrid service delivery models and programs, as well as factors influencing the decision to offer face-to-face or online interventions. Conclusion: Although telehealth has been implemented quickly as a response to a health care crisis, and is not a one-size-fits-all intervention, we believe it offers great opportunities to increase the accessibility, cost-effectiveness and family-centredness of our services, to best support families of children with disabilities.