Updated: Jan 31
It's clear to me how you, my dear reader, would be dubious about accessing therapy services online. Is it a scam? Does it even work? Is it legal?
If you find yourself asking those questions or something along those lines, then I am here to answer them for you!
In the event that you only want the quick and short of it, the answers to those three particular questions are: no, yes, and yes!!
For those of you reading who may want a little bit more information than that, buckle up because I am about to amaze you with these facts!
1. Telehealth services are not a scam.
In fact, accessing medical and health services through phone calls and (in more recent years) video conferencing has been around for at least a couple of decades! This initiative began when a massive gap between access to professionals and patients who were in need of medical support but live in remote/rural areas was identified in earlier years. Telehealth is ever-present and growing in the USA, Europe, and Australia. I might write a different post for a nerdier (and potentially lengthy) explanation and description of Telehealth. In the meantime, check out this quick article published by the World Health Organisation about this very topic.
2. Accessing therapy online does work!
There's a lot of emerging evidence in the field of healthcare across the globe about just how effective accessing therapy services online is, even for children at home or their schools. (Figueiredo, 2019; Criss, 2013)
Another study conducted by occupational therapists in America also explored parent's perspectives on their children receiving OT services through Telehealth, and the results were very promising! In fact, the parents who participated in this study produced three important themes regarding this service: 1) it was compatible with their daily life, 2) it built a collaborative relationship between parent and therapist and, 3) it empowered parents!
3. Telehealth services are very, very legal!
As I mentioned earlier, telehealth services have been around for a while and in more recent years there have been plenty of government initiatives all over the world which made this service delivery accessible to those who need them.
Telehealth is quite active in Australia. In fact, Telehealth services can currently be funded under the Medicare Benefits Schedule for patients in remote areas. Full disclosure that there is eligibility criteria for accessing this scheme, so not everyone may be able to use it.
In the area of occupational therapy services being provided to children and their families via telehealth, there are plenty of companies around Australia offering this service. Families may choose to fund these services out of pocket or use funds from their NDIS plan if the child is an eligible participant.
With all those questions answered (I hope!), here are three reasons for accessing therapy services through telehealth:
If you'd like to book a free 15 minute consult to chat with me, feel free to either use this booking link or send me an e-mail at email@example.com. I'd love to talk more about OT services via telehealth and determine if this would be appropriate for your child.
Hope to hear from you soon!