Telehealth delivery of evidence-based knee osteoarthritis care
Physiotherapy Exercise and Physical Activity for Knee Osteoarthritis was released to physiotherapy colleagues in the Spring 2020 from its Australian home at the University of Melbourne.
PEAK was built for delivery over telehealth and we are grateful that its developers chose to share it during the lockdown period of COVID, when traditional access to physiotherapy services was so curtailed.
PEAK builds on the same first-line base of the therapist delivering education and neuromuscular exercise and providing encouragement to pursue weight loss where appropriate. The program uses very well-designed exercise videos that the therapist coaches the patient through. Patients end the program with very good exercise video and information booklet material.
PEAK uniquely offers a component that unpacks daily physical activity levels, in the form of monitoring and prescription. It has been shown that individuals with knee OA do not meet daily physical activity levels.
The PEAK brand consists of 5 one-on-one sessions over a 3 month period. It is also preceded by an assessment. Sessions range from 30-45 minutes in duration.
The telehealth method allows for those who live remotely or in communities where practitioners aren't offering formal services around hip or knee OA management. As well, telehealth provides a good option for those who prefer not to or can't leave home.
As a therapist, delivering services over telehealth allows me to get a screen-size glimpse into your life and the physical space in which you live and plan to do your exercises from. I have learned that there can be a significant difference between how my patients do their exercises when I teach them in the clinic and their realities of adapting at home. The telehealth has proven surprisingly useful in this detail.