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The emergence of telehealth in orthotic services across the United Kingdom

EDDISON, Nicola, HEALY, Aoife, Calvert, Sian and CHOCKALINGAM, Nachiappan (2021) The emergence of telehealth in orthotic services across the United Kingdom. Assistive Technology: The Offical Journal of RESNA, 35 (2). ISSN 1949-3614

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Abstract or description

COVID-19 has impacted the National Health Service provision, creating urgency for departments to adapt and adopt new ways of delivering healthcare. The purpose of this service evaluation was to determine the emergence of telehealth in orthotic services across the UK in response to COVID-19. A survey exploring telehealth use was distributed online to orthotists approximately 6 months after the first peak of COVID-19 in the UK. It gathered information on telehealth prevalence, allocated appointment length and waiting times, clinician access to technology and clinicians’ opinions on the efficacy of telehealth. The survey received 77 responses with over 90% of respondents reporting using telehealth. Most reported that they expected telehealth to remain part of the service, post COVID-19. Thematic analysis produced two main themes: the impact of COVID-19 and challenges still to overcome. Findings suggest that the pandemic has resulted in a backlog of patients waiting for an orthotic appointment, with services currently understaffed and lacking resources. For telehealth to be effective orthotists must have access to appropriate technology and training on how to use telehealth platforms, be provided with appropriate guidance on which patients are appropriate for telehealth consultations and given appropriate appointment times to enable safe and effective care.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: “This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the article, accepted for publication in Assistive Technology. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.”
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emergencies and Natural Disasters; Emerging trends; Information Technology and Telecommunications; Orthotics; Service Delivery
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Aoife HEALY
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2021 16:18
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2023 10:44

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