Video treatment is here to stay
For the psychologists and physiotherapists in the SOS International network, conducting consultations via a video link is a regular part of their working day. Research shows the crucial factor for a good result with video therapy is that the client is motivated.
The lockdowns during the Covid pandemic taught us to go to the psychologist and physiotherapist via a screen. Before the 2020 pandemic turned everyday life upside down, the uptake of video treatments in physiotherapy and psychology was still relatively low. The technology was there, but the treatment had yet to achieve its popular breakthrough.
However, the lockdowns and isolation requirements became a digital eye-opener, and in 2020 SOS International saw a surge in video treatments within its Healthcare business of over 300% in a single month. (https://www.sos.eu/en/news/2020/corona-causes-a-breakthrough-for-video-consultations/)
Since then, video consultations have become a natural part of everyday life at SOS International, when physiotherapists and psychologists treat clients. Video treatments are here to stay, and today about 15% of all consultations at SOS International’s healthcare division are conducted via a video link.
The individual in the centre
Emma Alvius is a psychologist working for SOS International in Gothenburg. She explains that during the conversation between the psychologist and client, there is not much difference between the psychologist and client sitting opposite each other or talking together via video.
The most important thing for a good outcome is that the client is comfortable with the situation:
“Many people are positive about video, while others find that a physical meeting is important for feeling secure. Research shows that both methods work equally well, but that not allowing the client to affect how the treatment takes place can have a negative effect on the outcome,” says Emma Alvius.
Physiotherapy without touching
There is a natural limit to how many physiotherapy treatments can be done remotely.
“It’s clear that some physiotherapy treatments require a physical examination and sometimes also physical treatment,” says Rasmus Elb, physiotherapist and team leader at SOS International in Gothenburg.
However, even though it is limited how many treatments can be performed online, the proportion of video visits to physiotherapists in 2022 was 11%.
At SOS International, more than one in seven physiotherapy and psychology consultations is conducted via a video link. There are both advantages and disadvantages to video consultations:
- The home environment can help make the client feel secure
- Video treatment is an advantage for people with a tight schedule
- It makes access to treatment easier if you live geographically far away, have a physical disability or social difficulties
- Meeting in one’s own surroundings can help provide insight into the client’s condition
- Technical challenges with sound and connectivity can be a barrier
- It can be a challenge that the client is unable to speak without being disturbed
- Clients with moderate to severe depression and clients with high levels of anxiety may have difficulty receiving treatment remotely
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