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Comparing the Functional Mobility Assessment Outcomes for Wheeled Mobility Devices between VA Telehealth Assessments and In-Person Clinical Assessments

Bell, Mitchell (2019) Comparing the Functional Mobility Assessment Outcomes for Wheeled Mobility Devices between VA Telehealth Assessments and In-Person Clinical Assessments. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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As the access and abilities of technology vastly improves, the use of telehealth in the medical setting increases. While implementing these services, it is important to aim for the outcomes for patients to be comparable to the outcomes seen with in-person appointments. One area that telehealth can have an impact is on wheelchair seating and mobility assessments, as there are home factors that can influence the selection of a device. The population using wheeled mobility devices can also experience problems traveling to appointments, making telehealth a prime alternative. The purpose of this study is to compare the Functional Mobility Assessment (FMA) outcomes of a population of veterans receiving an evaluation using telehealth to a general population receiving their assessment in a clinic. Veterans were initially screened and administered the FMA Time 1 on their current device, and then evaluated in their home or place of residence using a VA videoconference system. Then, veterans received a phone call 21 days or more after receiving the new device to administer the FMA Time 2, and 27 veterans were reached during this follow-up. To compare the results to an in-person clinical setting, 27 participants were selected from a database matching for age, gender, and primary diagnosis. These participants also had Time 1 and Time 2 FMA scores, and the study compared each of the 10 FMA items between groups for each time point. The results showed that there were no statistically significant differences between the groups for 7 of 10 FMA items in Time 1 and 6 of 10 FMA items in Time 2. The veteran group showed statistically significant differences in daily routine, personal care, and indoor mobility for Time 1 and reach, transfers, personal care, and transportation for Time 2. The higher scores for certain items may be due to funding policy differences between the VA and non-VA groups. Overall, the results show that the telehealth group had no statistically significant differences in outcomes than the clinic group, and this provides encouragement for more studies to be done and assessments to be performed using a telehealth platform.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bell, Mitchellmwb32@pitt.edumwb32
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSchmeler,
Committee MemberSchein,
Committee MemberDicianno,
Date: 4 June 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 March 2019
Approval Date: 4 June 2019
Submission Date: 4 April 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 49
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: telerehabilitation wheelchair wheeled mobility functional mobility assessment
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 19:22
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2019 19:22


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