Barriers and Facilitators to the Acceptance of eHealth Interventions by Dutch Pediatric Physical Therapists in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Approach

Pediatr Phys Ther. 2023 Apr 1;35(2):243-250. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000998. Epub 2023 Feb 1.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent need for eHealth as the relevance of infection control and social distancing continues. Evidence describing the acceptability of implementing eHealth into pediatric physical therapy services is limited.

Purpose: To investigate the determinants of eHealth acceptance by Dutch pediatric physical therapists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used. It included a quantitative exploratory questionnaire of 154 pediatric physical therapists and qualitative in-depth interviews of 16 pediatric physical therapists.

Results: The eHealth interventions were beneficial for collaboration between health care professionals and in addition to face-to-face therapy. eHealth interventions were, however, found to be unsuitable especially in the diagnostic phase. Barriers to more extensive application include costs, technical difficulties, and a perceived negative attitude of children.

Conclusion: Pediatric physical therapists used eHealth interventions extensively in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the acceptance of eHealth interventions is dependent on the pediatric physical therapist's perception of usefulness in private practice, rehabilitation setting, or clinical hospital.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Physical Therapists*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine*