Physiotherapy home visits initially began as a temporary measure due to lockdown measures to combat coronavirus. However, patients and therapists have been surprised by the extra benefits of home therapy sessions compared to clinic visits, despite the additional barrier of PPE.
Home visits allow patients to avoid the additional risk of using public transport to get to their sessions, and frees up time they would otherwise spend travelling to and from the clinic. For patients in severe pain, it avoids a painful journey which would otherwise be an obstacle.
Watching the patient move around their own home allows the physiotherapist to observe issues which wouldn’t be clear in a clinic setting: uncomfortable furniture which may be worsening back issues, workstations at the wrong height etc. These can then be adjusted by the clinician where appropriate, giving greater long-term benefits to the patient.
For patients with anxiety or who have experienced traumatic injuries, there are mental health benefits to having treatment in the safe and familiar surroundings of their own home. Home visits can be longer than clinic sessions, so the therapist and patient have additional time to focus in-depth on any specific problems or needs, which gives time for exercises to be explained or time for extra hands on treatment.
Physiotherapist Nell Mead says, “This isn’t the first time I’ve seen patients in their own homes, but it is the first time I’ve done it so regularly. My patients have seen so much extra benefit by receiving treatment at home, even compared to coming into clinic, and despite the barriers of masks and aprons required by lockdown protocol.”
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