National Evaluation of Remote Physiotherapy Services: the findings

Explore the findings from the national evaluation of remote physiotherapy

The evidence about remote physiotherapy services comes from the three main stages of the evaluation.

  1. Scoping review – July 2020
  2. National survey 26th August – 16th September 2020
  3. 12 service case studies based on interviews and document analysis - December 2020 – April 2021

University of Manchester full report of the findings

Summary of the findings and CSP recommendations

The evaluation's key messages

  • Hybrid physiotherapy service models are a personalised and flexible blend of remote and in-person delivery
  • Hybrid delivery models help ensure that physiotherapy is safe, equitable, effective and responsive to individual needs and preferences
  • Consideration of multiple interacting factors such as communication needs, resources and digital literacy determines the right type of service delivery at the right time for each individual.

CSP Recommendations

  1. People are offered a personalised, equitable and flexible hybrid blend of in-person and remote physiotherapy, based on individual needs and preferences, purpose of the consultation and available resources
  2. People are given the choice, where appropriate, to receive physiotherapy in person, remotely or a combination of both
  3. Shared decision making determines how physiotherapy is delivered, taking into account a person’s needs, communication needs and available resources
  4. The proportion of physiotherapy delivered in person and/or remotely is personalised and determined by local factors, including the patient population and available resources
  5. Physiotherapy services continue to develop methodologies and measures to evaluate the safety, equity and effectiveness of their hybrid service delivery models

Delivery of equitable and flexible personalised hybrid physiotherapy services – factors to consider

Factors emerging from the three stages of the evaluation fell under five main themes:

  1. The person
  2. Purpose of consultation
  3. Remote approaches available
  4. The physiotherapy workforce
  5. The organisation

Two additional themes identified will impact on future physiotherapy service delivery:

  1. The physiotherapy profession
  2. Wider issues

Person-centred physiotherapy is the most important theme. However, type of service delivery is also dependent on the purpose of each consultation and the remote approaches available. It also needs to take into account relevant factors about the workforce and the organisation providing physiotherapy.

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