Telehealth sounds a bit challenging, but it has potential: participant and physiotherapist experiences of gym-based exercise intervention for Achilles tendinopathy monitored via telehealth
journal contributionposted on 30.03.2021, 00:56 by F Hasani, P Malliaras, T Haines, Shannon Munteanu, J White, J Ridgway, P Nicklen, A Moran, P Jansons
© 2021, The Author(s). Background: Although telehealth is becoming more popular for delivery of care for individuals with musculoskeletal pain, to our knowledge telehealth has not been used to manage Achilles tendinopathy. This research aimed to explore the experience of participants and physiotherapists with gym-based exercise interventions for Achilles tendinopathy monitored via videoconference. Methods: A qualitative, interpretive description design was performed using semi-structured interviews (8 participants) and a focus group (7 physiotherapists). Participants and physiotherapists were interviewed about their experiences of the use of telehealth during a gym-based exercise intervention incorporating different calf load parameters for Achilles tendinopathy. We employed an inductive thematic analysis approach to analyse the data. Results: Three themes identified from both participants and physiotherapists included i) acceptability of telehealth; ii) enablers to adherence with telehealth; and iii) barriers to adherence with telehealth. Two extra themes arose from participants regarding adherence with gym-based exercise, including enablers to adherence with the exercise intervention, and barriers to adherence with the exercise intervention. Both participants and physiotherapists expressed overall satisfaction and acceptability of telehealth monitoring of gym-based exercise. Conclusion: Gym-based exercise intervention for Achilles tendinopathy involving weekly telehealth monitoring was acceptable to both participants and physiotherapists. Potential enablers and barriers were identified that may improve adherence to this type of intervention.