An online functional assessment experience in individuals over 65+ during Covid 19 pandemics: physiotherapist opinion & participant opinion
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The quarantine during COVID-19 pandemic affects the clinical visits of elderly people. Since, telehealth gained importance, it is essential to adapt routine visits to the tele-assessment for elderly people especially in high risk factor for both functional impairment and fall risks. Our aim was to present our online assessment experiences in the elderly who underwent particular home quarantine during COVID-19 pandemics. Method: Thirty-three participants aged 65-85 (mean = 71.33 ± 5.35/years, 20 women, 13 men) those never attended an online assessment before were invited to a video-conference based assessment session. It was advised that a relative of the participant or caregiver must attend the online assessment session and follow the instructions of the physiotherapist. The assessments were conducted in the following sequence over seven main topics that are important in terms of functionality in the elderly: (1) physical activity were questioned using International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form, (2) the functional performance were tested with 30 seconds Sit-to-Stand test (SST), (3) participation to the daily living activities with KATZ Index, (4) coronavirus anxiety with Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS), (5) fear of falling with Falls Efficacy Scale, (6) the balance and mobility with Timed-Up and Go test (TUG) in a 3-meter corridor, and (7) frailty with Clinical Frailty Scale. The assessments were done by six physiotherapists (one PhD, 2 MSc, and 3 BSc). The opinions of the participants and physiotherapists regarding their experiences were noted. Result: All participants were finished the assessment and not reported adverse events. The mean of all outcomes showed in Table 1. The mean assessment time was 23.26 ±6.89 minutes. The bad internet connection reported in only one session. Seven of the participants (21.2%) mentioned that SST or TUG were somewhat effortful despite their short duration. The physiotherapists also reported that ensuring an appropriate testing environment for the sit to stand test and Timed-Up and Go test were not always possible. In addition, the sit-to stand test Two of the participants (6 %) were felt discomfort from the questions of CAS. Twenty-one (63.6 %) online assessment were rated as "good" while 12 (36.4 %) were rated as "fair" by the relative of the participant or caregiver in terms of preparing the tools (chair etc.) and testing environment. No problem reported by both therapists and participants related to the questions of IPAQ-SF, CFS, KATZ or FES. Conclusion: This study indicated that an online tele-assessment session is safe and applicable in elderly who underwent home quarantine during COVID-19 pandemic. It was observed that an application of survey based assessments were easier than functional assessments. The results of this study offer an exemplary tele-assessment session for elderly people. Future studies may focus the consistency of the tele-assessment and clinic based assessment results.
SourceEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
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