Pre-admission orthopaedic occupational therapy home visits conducted using the Internet

J Telemed Telecare. 2008;14(2):83-7. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2007.070808.


We evaluated the feasibility and accuracy of conducting occupational therapy home visits using the Internet. Studies were conducted at the homes of 40 patients who were scheduled to undergo a total hip or knee replacement: home visits were conducted, on the same day, by both a face-to-face therapist and an online therapist. The online therapist conducted the visit via a low-speed, dial-up Internet connection using a specially developed telerehabilitation system. This system combines real-time videoconferencing (320 x 240 pixel resolution) with a suite of calibrated assessment tools which the operator can use to measure real-scale angular displacement/velocity and linear distances during the videoconference. Both therapists completed a home environment questionnaire, assessed patients' transfer ability and measured the heights of six objects/pieces of furniture. For the questionnaire items which related to variables in the home environment, the mean percentage exact agreement was 98.9% (SD 2.6; range 90-100), while there was 100% agreement on the items related to transfers. The mean absolute difference in measured heights between the two therapists ranged from 0.1-3.3 cm. The results suggest that conducting pre-admission orthopaedic occupational therapy home visits via the Internet is both feasible and accurate.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / standards
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Therapy / methods*
  • Occupational Therapy / standards
  • Osteoarthritis / psychology*
  • Osteoarthritis / rehabilitation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Remote Consultation / standards
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome