Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the release of a new study from Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes (FOTO), a PT outcomes management system provider, that examined the use of and outcomes for telerehabilitation for low back pain during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study examined 91,117 total episodes of care, 5,013 of which included or were exclusively telehealth visits between Q2 2020 and Q1 2021. Key findings included that telerehab was equally effective in improving functional status outcomes for patients with low back pain compared to traditional in-person office visits, whether synchronous or a mix of synchronous & asynchronous. Episodes with telerehab usually involved significantly fewer visits (0.7 to 1.3) compared to no-telerehab, potentially improving cost effectiveness. Finally, the study noted that overall 82% of patients said they were very satisfied, which compared favorably to the 86% average satisfaction rate for in-person office visits.