Knowledge, Attitude, and Barriers to Telerehabilitation-Based Physical Therapy Practice in Saudi Arabia

Healthcare (Basel). 2020 Nov 4;8(4):E460. doi: 10.3390/healthcare8040460.


(1) Telerehabilitation (TR) is a part of telemedicine involved in providing rehabilitation services to people in remote locations. TR in physical therapy in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still in its infancy and its implementation may pose different challenges in the physical therapy settings. The purpose of this nation-wide survey is to explore physiotherapists (PTs) knowledge, attitudes, and barriers towards implementation of TR in physical therapy settings; (2) Methods: A 14 item questionnaire was developed and mailed to PTs working in hospitals and rehabilitation centers across 13 provinces in Saudi Arabia; (3) Results: 347 PTs responded. Results are as follows: 58.8% (n = 204) of PTs reported that they had sufficient knowledge about TR. About31.7% (n = 110) of PTs reported that their hospital and rehabilitation center had installed TR, yet only 19.9% (n = 69) utilized the TR facility. Image-based TR was more frequently used (n = 33) as compared to sensor-based TR (n = 29) and virtual reality TR (n = 10).The main barriers were technical issues and cost related to implement TR in physical therapy settings; and (4) Conclusions: There is a relatively high number of PTs with self-reported knowledge about TR, however facilities and usage were limited. The main barriers were technical issues, staff skills, and the high cost involved in the introduction of TR in the PT-based health care settings.

PMID:33158298 | DOI:10.3390/healthcare8040460