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The days of thinking of telerehabilitation as an emerging possibility are long gone: Telerehab is here and on the rise. The physical therapy profession now has cutting-edge clinical guidance to help PTs and PTAs put the approach to its most effective use.

APTA's newest clinical practice guideline, or CPG, titled "Telerehabilitation in Physical Therapist Practice," has published in PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, APTA's science journal. APTA members have full-text access to all PTJ content for free as a member benefit; to help disseminate the recommendations as quickly as possible, APTA made the CPG available to all.

The CPG includes seven recommendations on preparation, implementation, and impact considerations around telerehab, each accompanied by ratings of the quality of evidence supporting the recommendation as well as the strength of the recommendation. Authors of the CPG write that in addition to its practical usefulness for PTs and PTAs, the resource is relevant to "decision makers, health care professionals, consumers, funders, and regulatory people of interest."

The recommendations are the result of researcher reviews of randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, comparative studies, and qualitative studies on telerehabilitation published between 2010 and 2022. That process included the review of 487 full-length articles, ultimately winnowed down to 45 studies that met criteria for inclusion.

The CPG development group was led by Alan Lee, PT, DPT, PhD and Trevor Russell, PT, PhD and included PTs and physiotherapists from around the world including Australia, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Canada, and Argentina.

Intended to serve as an international resource, the final published version of the CPG will also be translated into Chinese and Spanish, with recommendations published in French. Look for additional supporting materials, including an APTA CPG+ resource, pocket guides, a podcast, and more in the coming weeks and months.


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