Best practice model for delivery of telehealth occupational therapy services for clients with dementia and their caregivers

Date
5/30/2017
Authors
Nissen, Ranelle M.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Abstract

Occupational therapy provides services to persons with dementia and their caregivers to facilitate positive change in daily occupations. One underused method to deliver services to this client population is through telehealth. Telehealth is a health care delivery method that utilizes technology as the context of service delivery. This dissertation work intended to close the gap between the current evidence that supports the use of telehealth as an effective delivery health care model and the limited evidence to support its use with persons with dementia and their caregivers.

This dissertation study was completed in three phases. The first phase collected data from occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology practitioners to identify the current use, knowledge, and perceptions of telehealth. The results of this study identified that telehealth had limited use in the state of interest and the practitioners had limited knowledge about telehealth. Despite the limited use and knowledge of telehealth reported, the practitioner participants had a general positive perception of the ease of use and usefulness of telehealth. The second phase aimed to describe persons with dementia and their caregivers’ use of technology and perceptions of telehealth. This study identified the same limited knowledge of telehealth as was reported by the practitioner participants in study one. In addition, persons with dementia and their caregivers did report an openness to the use of technology for receipt of occupational therapy services. The third phase of this dissertation developed a best practice model for the delivery of occupational therapy services to clients with dementia and their caregivers. The best practice model was developed based upon the data collected in the first two phases and the synthesis of current best available evidence.

The intent of this dissertation was to narrow the evidence gap between telehealth and occupational therapy services to persons with dementia and their caregivers. Findings from this dissertation are seen as a forward step to highlight evidence that supports the use of telehealth as an effective delivery method providing occupational therapy services to persons with dementia and their caregivers.

Description
Keywords
Health and environmental sciences, Best practice model, Dementia, Occupational therapy, Telehealth
Citation