The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of people with hip and/or knee OA about the remote delivery of exercise therapy by a physical therapist. This was achieved through a survey of people aged ≥45 years with a clinical diagnosis of hip and/or knee OA. The survey comprised three sections including: i) demographic information; and statements about receiving exercise via the ii) telephone and; iii) video over the internet. Data were analysed by calculating response proportions and evaluating levels of agreement with each statement. Exploratory binomial regression analyses were performed to determine whether participant characteristics influenced perceptions to telerehabilitation.
330 people spanning metropolitan, regional, and rural Australia completed the survey. Respondents were in majority (≥50%) agreement with 13 of 17 statements, with most agreement about telerehabilitation saving time (telephone vs video; 78% vs 81% respectively), being easy to use (79% vs 78%), and maintaining privacy (86% vs 82%). There was no consensus agreement with liking the lack of physical contact (telephone vs video; 20% agreement vs 22% respectively), willingness to pay (32% vs 46%), belief that telephone-delivered exercise would be effective (45%), and belief that a physical therapist could adequately monitor OA over the telephone (42%).
People with knee and/or hip OA hold mostly positive perceptions about telerehabilitation, delivered via the telephone or by video over the internet, for provision of physical therapist-prescribed exercise services. There was concern about the lack of physical contact with the therapist when using telerehabilitation.