Telehealth & Online Therapy - Making It Work For Me | MyCareSpace

Telehealth & Online Therapy - Making It Work For Me

Young boy using a laptop and headphones for telehealth session

What is telehealth?

Telehealth involves online consultation, assessment and intervention with healthcare practitioners from the convenience of your home. 

Telehealth enables you to stay connected when in-person sessions are not feasible or practical, for some or all of the time. 

Telehealth allows for continuity of care between you and your health professionals.

Telehealth is also described as telepractice, online therapy or remote therapy.

In the NDIS, you can work with a therapist or allied health provider if they offer a telehealth service that can meet your needs. 

Allied health providers set up with telehealth can complete most assessments and provide capacity-building therapy online.

Telehealth is typically most effective when completed via video call. However, telehealth over the phone can also be explored.

Telehealth Assessment

An assessment is completed by an allied health provider when they first meet you to learn about your disability and the impact this has on day-to-day life.

A telehealth assessment can be completed in place of a face-to-face assessment in most cases. The assessment will involve detailed discussions with you and if needed, a family member and carer. It will also involve observations of you in your home environment and performing activities of daily living. This is where a laptop or portable device with a camera and microphone is helpful.

Some standardised assessments completed by therapists are designed to be administered via telehealth.

Telehealth for Online Therapy

Therapy sessions completed online to achieve your goals can be very effective with the right set-up and support. 

Depending on the goal you are working towards, your therapist may send you resources prior to the session to access online or print. 

Alternatively, you may require assistive technology or devices to engage in telehealth sessions. 

You may require assistance from a parent or caregiver under the guidance of the therapist

Your therapist will provide you guidance on the best way to engage in telehealth.

Their approach to therapy will consider the following:

  • The goals you are working towards
  • The method of delivery of telehealth therapy
  • The availability of support to you for therapy sessions i.e. family members or carers
  • Any constraints that must be overcome to deliver a quality service

Which allied health providers offer telehealth?

Telehealth can be offered by the following therapists or services:

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Psychologist
  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Dietitian
  • School Leaver Employment Support
  • Employment-related Assessment and Counselling

Not all therapists offer telehealth, so keep this in mind when exploring services if this is your preferred method.

Telehealth over face-to-face therapy?

There are many benefits to accessing telehealth services over face-to-face, as outlined below.

Access services outside of my local area

There are incredible therapists all across the country working in the NDIS. Telehealth allows you access to therapists that service outside of your local area or state. As the NDIS is a national scheme with service providers operating nationally, you are not restricted to your state for services and support. Telehealth broadens the services available to you to find the right therapist for you.

Reduce time waiting for an in-person therapist

Get started with therapy sooner! As there are many telehealth therapists to choose from, you are less likely to be waiting around for a face-to-face visit, as there is often a long waitlist. 
Telehealth providers typically have much earlier capacity than face-to-face providers. Take advantage of this benefit and give telehealth a go.

Maximise funding in your NDIS plan

The hourly rate charged by the therapist does not change between telehealth and in-person therapy. However, you will save your NDIS funding by not paying for costs associated with a therapist travelling to visit your home for therapy. The costs saved by eliminating travel fees can translate to additional therapy sessions. Money win!

Helps parents and carers with therapy outside of therapy sessions

In therapy, there are usually activities recommended to be completed outside of the session. This is where the real capacity building happens. Telehealth can allow for a parent or carer to observe some or all of the session. This is beneficial as:

  • The parent or carer can observe how the therapist interacts with the participant and then can mirror this in practice sessions
  • The parent or carer can observe the desired outcome of the participant when engaging with the therapist
  • The therapist and parent or carer can discuss therapy interventions as they occur during the session, rather than completing a separate handover session which takes up funding and time.

Lowers the risk of infection and illness

Engaging in therapy online means that you are not regularly visiting a clinic or centre also visited by other participants. You also won’t have a therapist regularly coming in and out of your home. This helps to lower the risk of catching a virus and becoming unwell.

Greater Flexibility - Make it work for you!

Access your therapy sessions at a time in the week that suits YOU. Forget about time wasted sitting in traffic and in the waiting room. Your therapy needs to make the most sense for you and your lifestyle.

Is telehealth effective?

Research evidence tells us that telehealth can be just as effective as in-person appointments in achieving your goals.

Consider if you would prefer to wait for in-person services, or not receive them at all due to a lack of local service providers with capacity.

On the other hand, you can get started with telehealth and start achieving your goals today.

How long does telehealth go for?

A telehealth assessment can take anywhere between 1-2 hours and may require multiple appointments to gather the information required.

The duration of telehealth sessions is determined by the therapist based on what will be most effective for you. Most therapists understand that a full hour of screen time for therapy may be a bit much for some people, so shorter and more frequent sessions can be offered instead.

You will continue with telehealth sessions until you achieve your capacity-building goals. A good therapist will check in regularly to ensure the online arrangements work well for you and your supports.

What do I need to access telehealth?

To maximise your engagement in telehealth, you will require the following:

  • Computer, laptop or tablet
  • Webcam (this may build into the front screen of a laptop or can be plugged in externally)
  • Microphone
  • Speaker (usually built into your device)
  • If using a tablet, set this up ahead of the session so you have your hands free. A stand may be helpful.
  • Internet connection
  • A quiet space for your privacy

The telehealth provider will guide you on any software or download requirements to access their videocall platform. TIP: Test your equipment and set up ahead of your telehealth session to avoid any delays getting into your session.

Depending on the assessment or intervention, input from a support worker or family member may be necessary.

It is helpful if you provide your therapist with copies of reports or any documents related to your disability prior to the telehealth assessment. They can review these documents to develop an understanding of your needs prior to meeting with you. Such a win!

Can all allied health services be provided by telehealth?

While telehealth can be effective for most allied health services, there are instances where telehealth is not the most appropriate intervention method due to in-person requirements. 

For example, the following interventions require in-person support from an Occupational Therapist:

  • Complex assistive technology prescription, such a powered wheelchair
  • Prescribing assistive technology that addresses postures and pressure care management
  • Some minor and all complex home modification assessments
  • Driving assessments

Other therapists, such as Physios and Speech Pathologists, for example, may have areas that require in-person input. Speak with your therapist about these requirements. Perhaps a combination of in-person appointments and telehealth may help you to achieve your goals.

Connect with a Telehealth Therapy Provider

Our Connections Team at MyCareSpace are linked in with a range of providers offering telehealth services with availability. Let our team help you navigate the NDIS and find the right service for you.

Get started with telehealth



Our Connections Team at MyCareSpace are linked in with a range of providers offering telehealth services with availability. Let our team help you navigate the NDIS and find the right service for you.
Get started with Therapy



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