CSP funds research into remote physiotherapy during Covid-19

The CSP has commissioned a research team at the University of Manchester (UoM) to undertake an evaluation of remote physiotherapy consultations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The project is aimed at increasing understanding of the delivery of remote physiotherapy consultations and rehabilitation in a wide range of settings.

Its findings will provide a clear indication of which technologies are successful in different contexts, recommendations for successful implementation and examples of good service models. 

Dr Helen Hawley-Hague,a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Research Fellow within the School of Health Sciences at UoM and a member of the CSP’s Digital and Informatics Physiotherapy Group, will lead the project.

She said: ‘We will undertake a mixed methods real-world evaluation of the use of remote physiotherapy consultation and rehabilitation across the UK, which will enable us to use different methodologies to collect a range of different data.’

Project will inform future practice

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Ruth ten Hove, CSP assistant director of practice and development, said: ‘The contract was awarded after a tendering process that saw a number of different teams bidding to carry out the project.

This was an outstanding application

The research team are hugely experienced in both rehab and technology, and we are confident that they will deliver a comprehensive research project that will build our learning and understanding and inform future practice.’

Members can contribute to the research

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The study starts in July with a rapid review of the existing evidence. In August, all CSP members will be invited to take part in an online survey about how they are using remote physiotherapy consultations and rehabilitation.

From November the researchers will be working with some services to develop case studies. These will include detail about patients’ and physiotherapists’ experiences, usability of technology, costs of service change and the benefits and challenges of remote consultations.

Dr Hawley-Hague will be joined by Professor Sarah Tyson FCSP,a physiotherapist and professor of rehabilitation at the University of Manchester whose research focuses on the organisation and delivery of rehabilitation services; Dr Emma Stanmore, reader and deputy lead for the Healthy Ageing Research Group in the School of Health Sciences; and research associateDr Reena Lasardo.

Influencing changes in policy and practice

The team has a strong track record of multidisciplinary research into the development, deployment and evaluation of technologies into health services and the wider community.

Dr Hawley-Hague said: ‘Our research engages professionals, public and patients, and has influenced changes in policy and practice at local, national and international level by exploring how physiotherapy and rehabilitation services are delivered and organised and how they can best be implemented using technology.’

The team will report their findings to members regularly throughout the project, which will finish in June 2021.

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