Revista de Fisioterapia e Medicina Esportiva


Telehealth curriculum in graduate physical therapy education

Cody Serdarr, Kathlen Matheson

Telehealth physical therapy quickly became accepted and utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth efficacy has been established in medical practice and is an integral component to graduate medical education. While the effectiveness of telehealth in physical therapy has been proven, telehealth curricula in physical therapy graduate education have not been adequately studied. The purpose of this quantitative descriptive study was to explore the association between telehealth curricula in physical therapy graduate education. A quantitative and descriptive cross-sectional survey of 31 physical therapists was utilized. A cross-sectional survey was adapted, utilizing a Likert-type scale to assess knowledge and attitude inferential statistics were used to evaluate knowledge and attitudes regarding telehealth. Telehealth exposure included no exposure (25.8%), one lecture (54.8%), a lecture series/several lectures (12.9%), and an entire course (6.5%). Mean knowledge pre- and post-curricula were 1.52 and 2.75 (p<0.001). Mean attitudes regarding telehealth pre- and post-curricula were 2.53 and 3.64 (p<0.001). While graduate physical therapy educational programs continue to adapt to needed changes in curricula, telehealth curricula remain underdeveloped and underutilized. Current telehealth curricula do seem to improve physical therapists’ knowledge and attitudes regarding telehealth. Increased uptake of telehealth curricula in didactic education could better prepare physical therapists to utilize telehealth.