31 Jan Does telehealth work for kids with hand injuries?
Curious about telehealth for kids? Occupational Therapist Katherine Dalton from Queensland Children’s Hospital explains how telehealth can be helpful for kids with hand injuries.
Repost from AHTA News > See original article HERE
As hand therapists, we often use our own hands to help people get better and return to doing the things they love after a hand injury. Telehealth has been available in Australia for many years with research showing it is very effective. But it has taken something disruptive, like Covid, to help health professionals and families learn just how easy it is to use.
How do we know it helps?
We work with children and their families helping them to heal after injury. Lots of broken fingers, torn ligaments and crushed little hands are injured playing sport, being dare-devils at home and sometimes just by being unlucky.
We decided to ask the families who used both telehealth and traditional appointments (ie. attending therapy at the hospital) what they thought.
Families like choosing the way they can have therapy
- Every family was given the choice for what they felt was the most suitable way for their hand therapy appointment. Every single family we asked afterward said they would choose to have their appointment the same way or by either way again.
Telehealth is cheaper for families than coming for hospital appointments
- Whilst the time with the therapist was very similar, coming to the hospital doubled the amount of time the family needed to attend.
- By saving on travel, parking and time off work, it was $60 cheaper for families who had their appointments over telehealth.
Both telehealth and traditional hospital appointments helped kids recover
- Nearly 95% of all families reported feeling confident to manage their child’s hand injury and easily able to understand the information provided by the health professional.
- Children and parents rated using their hands in everyday activities. Children had the same function in their hands for both appointment types!
What are the top tips to get the most from your hand therapy telehealth appointment?
- Read the instructions and rest your screen on something flat and stable.
- Find a quiet place without a window or light behind you.
- Have a list of questions and your hand therapy resources (or some toys for younger children) ready.
- Connect a few minutes before your appointment so you can check everything is working ok.
- Check your internet connection, camera and microphone are on. Make sure your phone is not on silent in case your therapist needs to contact you if there are problems with the telehealth.
Remember: Talk to your therapy team ahead of time if you don’t feel comfortable using telehealth! It’s important that you feel supported to make the best decision for your situation. The team should be able to help problem solve or look at all options if needed.
Find out more about Melbourne Hand Rehab telehealth service here
If you are experiencing hand or wrist pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help you.
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For more information, or to see if Telehealth is appropriate for you or your child, call us on 03 9458 5166