In-Home Video Telehealth for Dementia Management: Implications for Rehabilitation
Purpose of Review
The progressive nature of dementia requires ongoing care delivered by multidisciplinary teams, including rehabilitation professionals, that is individualized to patient and caregiver needs at various points on the disease trajectory. Video telehealth is a rapidly expanding model of care with the potential to expand dementia best practices by increasing the reach of dementia providers to flexible locations, including patients’ homes. We review recent evidence for in-home video telehealth for patients with dementia and their caregivers with emphasis on implications for rehabilitation professionals.
Eleven studies were identified that involved video visits into the home targeting patients with dementia and/or their family caregivers. The majority describe protocolized interventions targeting caregivers in a group format over a finite, pre-determined period. For most, the discipline of the interventionist was unclear, though two studies included rehabilitation interventions. While descriptions of utilized technology were often lacking, many reported that devices were issued to participants when needed and that technical support was provided by study teams. Positive caregiver outcomes were noted but evidence for patient-level outcomes and cost data are mostly lacking.
More research is needed to demonstrate implementation of dementia best care practices through in-home video telehealth. Though interventions delivered using in-home video telehealth appear to be effective in addressing caregivers’ psychosocial concerns, the impact on patients and the implications for rehabilitation remain unclear. Larger, more systematic inquiries comparing in-home video telehealth to traditional visit formats are needed to better define best practices.
KeywordsDementia Family caregivers Telemedicine Telerehabilitation
The authors would like to acknowledge Nicole Bookout, Science Research & Instruction Librarian at Tufts University, for assisting with search design and completing searches.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Megan E. Gately, Scott A. Trudeau, and Lauren R. Moo each declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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