American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Most Popular Articles

African American Patient Disparities in COVID-19 Outcomes: A Call to Action for Physiatrists to Provide Rehabilitation Care to Black Survivors

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel and highly contagious coronavirus that has been a major threat to the public’s health. As the pandemic has spread across the United States, it has become abundantly clear that vulnerable populations include not only the elderly and individuals with disabilities but also those who are homeless or incarcerated, Latinx Americans, African Americans, and Native Americans. This report is focused on the experience of Black patients, inclusive of African Americans, and recognizes the higher morbidity and mortality in this population. Physiatrists can provide care for the sequelae faced by survivors and prioritize rehabilitation services. Programs must be administered in a way that is geographically accessible to Black communities and demonstrate cultural competence. Future research should focus on the social determinants of health to better understand at-risk populations and improve outcomes.

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Outpatient Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy Synchronous Telemedicine: A Survey Study of Patient Satisfaction with Virtual Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic

imageThe COVID-19 pandemic transformed health care delivery, including rapid expansion of telehealth. Telerehabilitation, defined as therapy provided by physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology, was rapidly adopted with goals to provide access to care and limit contagion. The purpose of this brief report was to describe the feasibility of and satisfaction with telerehabilitation. A total of 205 participants completed online surveys after a telerehabilitation visit. Most commonly, participants were women (53.7%), 35–64 yrs old, and completed physical therapy (53.7%) for established visits of 30–44 mins in duration for primary impairments in sports, lower limb injuries, and pediatric neurology. Overall, high ratings (“excellent” or “very good” responses) were observed for all patient-centered outcome metrics (range, 93.7%–99%) and value in future telehealth visit (86.8%) across telerehabilitation visits. Women participated more frequently and provided higher ratings than male participants did. Other benefits included eliminating travel time, incorporating other health care advocates, and convenience delivering care in familiar environment to pediatric patients. Technology and elements of hands-on aspects of care were observed limitations. Recognizing reduced indirect costs of care that telerehabilitation may provide along with high patient satisfaction are reasons policy makers should adopt these services into future health care delivery models.

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