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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 272-277

Parental experiences of telerehabilitation for children with special needs: An exploratory survey


1 Thanal Academy of Rehabilitation Studies, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
2 Government Mental Health Centre, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Noufal Thadathukunnel Hameed
Thanal Academy of Rehabilitation Studies, Kozhikode, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_235_20

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Context: The COVID-19 pandemic's emergence necessitated that clinic/hospital-based rehabilitation is replaced or substituted by other modes. Using telecommunication devices was found a convenient alternative. Aims: Present study explored the telerehabilitation experiences of the parents of children with developmental disabilities (CDD). Settings and Design: The study was conducted among the service users of a not-for-profit NGO located in Kerala. Parents of children with one or more developmental disabilities formed the population of the present study. The present study was a cross-sectional exploratory survey. Subjects and Methods: A total of 205 parents took part in the study using a brief open-ended survey. The majority of the participants were females (65%). Statistical Analysis Used: The sociodemographic data were analyzed using frequency and percentage. The qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Overall, the study found that parents experienced more challenges in telerehabilitation compared to face-to-face interventions. Perceived challenges included externalizing problems, reduced effectiveness, logistical issues, multiple disabilities, and the child's lack of interest in gadgets. Perceived advantages included the child's liking for the device and increased availability of time. Conclusion: In short, the study throws light on the various challenges experienced by parents in implementing telerehabilitation for their CDD. The findings strongly recommend fine-tuning telerehabilitation programs to meet these challenges to provide optimal care to our children with special needs.


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