Feely, K. (1,2), Heywood, S. (1,3), Kinsella, R.(1,4), Page, C. (1), Lim, K. (1, 5) and Goranitis, I. (2)
- St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
- The University of Melbourne
- University of the Sunshine Coast
- Latrobe University
- Western Health
Background: Telehealth is one way of providing physiotherapy for people with knee osteoarthritis. Telehealth can be cost-effective, accessible and decrease travel time and resources to receive care. Uptake of telehealth may be influenced by cost and the “digital divide” including age, education and confidence using the internet.
Aim: To determine willingness to pay for telehealth delivered physiotherapy in people with knee osteoarthritis and explore the reasons for the choice.
Methods: Contingent valuation utilising a dichotomous choice survey completed via an interview. Participants were adults aged over 50 years with knee osteoarthritis referred to Osteoarthritis Hip and Knee Service. The hypothetical situation compared face-to-face community-based physiotherapy (requiring 60 minutes total travel and a 4 weeks wait to commence) to immediate access to a physiotherapist via telehealth at home. A double-bounded model with two questions was used. Willingness to pay for telehealth starting bids were set at $20, $40 or $60. The second bid was double the first for participants willing to pay the initial amount, or halved if they were not.
Results: 66 participants (mean age 68; 56% female; 74% with internet at home; 41% confident or very confident using the internet; 30% can independently use video calls) completed the survey. 63% of participants were not willing to pay the first or second bid for telehealth. Reasons for wanting to see a physiotherapist in the community included financial barriers (33%) and the preference to see health professional in person (29%).
Conclusion: The majority of people attending a public hospital OAHKS clinic would not be willing to pay for physiotherapy intervention via telehealth. The main reasons were financial constraints and preference to see a physiotherapist face to face. Further data collection for this project will continue to determine what influences preferences for the delivery of physiotherapy
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For more information about this abstract, please contact:
Sophie Heywood, University of Sunshine Coast and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
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