Objective: This pilot study trialled an in-home videoconferencing system to determine the feasibility of delivering rehabilitation services remotely to aged clients.
Methods: Patients approved for community-based transition care were prospectively recruited to trial the eHAB™ video-conferencing system. Staff completed patient logs to record reasons for patient exclusion/inclusion. A staff satisfaction survey recorded qualitative feedback on the operation of eHAB™.
Results: Of 44 patients admitted to transition care, 34 (77%) were considered unsuitable for telerehabilitation, due mainly to hearing and/or vision impairment, client/carer anxiety, lack of space in the home, and cognitive impairment. Three proceeded with set-up and use of eHAB™. Staff reported that telerehabilitation was particularly challenging because of the complexity of cases, with many requiring "hands-on" therapy.
Conclusion: To implement telerehabilitation more widely in older people there are barriers to be overcome relating to patient limitations, staff issues and the logistics of the system.