Maximizing Telerehabilitation for Patients With Visual Loss After Stroke: Interview and Focus Group Study With Stroke Survivors, Carers, and Occupational Therapists

Stephen Dunne*, Helen Close, Nicola Richards, Amanda Ellison, Alison R Lane

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Visual field defects are a common consequence of stroke, and compensatory eye movement strategies have been identified as the most promising rehabilitation option. There has been a move toward compensatory telerehabilitation options, such as the Durham Reading and Exploration (DREX) training app, which significantly improves visual exploration, reading, and self-reported quality of life.

OBJECTIVE: This study details an iterative process of liaising with stroke survivors, carers, and health care professionals to identify barriers and facilitators to using rehabilitation tools, as well as elements of good practice in telerehabilitation, with a focus on how the DREX package can be maximized.

METHODS: Survey data from 75 stroke survivors informed 12 semistructured engagement activities (7 focus groups and 5 interviews) with 32 stroke survivors, 10 carers, and 24 occupational therapists.

RESULTS: Thematic analysis identified key themes within the data. Themes identified problems associated with poststroke health care from both patients' and occupational therapists' perspectives that need to be addressed to improve uptake of this rehabilitation tool and telerehabilitation options generally. This included identifying additional materials or assistance that were required to boost the impact of training packages. The acute rehabilitation setting was an identified barrier, and perceptions of technology were considered a barrier by some but a facilitator by others. In addition, 4 key features of telerehabilitation were identified: additional materials, the importance of goal setting, repetition, and feedback.

CONCLUSIONS: The data were used to try to overcome some barriers to the DREX training and are further discussed as considerations for telerehabilitation in general moving forward.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19604
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume22
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

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