Does the Integration of Telehealth into Occupational Therapy Practice Impact Clinical Outcomes for Hand and Upper Limb Rehabilitation? A Matched Case Control Study


  • Kristie J. Harper Occupational Therapy Department, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Curtin University, School of Allied Health, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Enable Institute for Health Research, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Siân Fitzgerald Occupational Therapy Department, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Png Xiyin Curtin University, School of Allied Health, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Jordan Kuzich Occupational Therapy Department, Rockingham Hospital, Rockingham, Western Australia, Australia
  • Soon Hui Leow Curtin University, School of Allied Health, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Angela Jacques Institute for Health Research, The University of Notre Dame, Perth, Western Australia Australia; Department of Research, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Courtenay Harris Curtin University, School of Allied Health, Perth, Western Australia, Australia



Hand and upper limb rehabilitation, Occupational therapy, Telehealth, Telemedicine


Health services are capitalizing on the rise of telehealth and seeking to develop sustainable models incorporating telehealth into standard care. Further research is required to explore the service and clinical outcomes of telehealth in occupational therapy hand and upper limb practice. This research utilized a case-control study to explore the feasibility and clinical outcomes of case matched patients who received a telehealth hybrid model versus traditional in-person care. One hundred and two patients were recruited (n=51 in the controls and cases) with a mean age of 45 years. Telehealth was not inferior to standard care with no significant increase in therapy time (p=0.441) or length of referral (p=0.047). There was no difference in clinical adverse events (p=0.741). Patients who received telehealth had significantly less withdrawals from the service (p = 0.031). Patient and therapist satisfaction were high, supporting the ongoing use and continued implementation of telehealth in occupational therapy.



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How to Cite

Harper, K. J., Fitzgerald, S., Xiyin, P., Kuzich, J., Leow, S. H., Jacques , A., & Harris, C. (2022). Does the Integration of Telehealth into Occupational Therapy Practice Impact Clinical Outcomes for Hand and Upper Limb Rehabilitation? A Matched Case Control Study. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 14(2).



Clinical Research