Perceptions of Telehealth Physical Therapy Among Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain

Julie M. Fritz, Elizabeth Lane, Kate I. Minick, Tyler Bardsley, Gerard Brennan, Stephen J. Hunter, Terrence Mcgee, Fenan S. Rassu, Stephen T. Wegener, Richard L. Skolasky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 prompted the rapid adoption of telehealth to provide physical therapy. Patients' perceptions about telehealth physical therapy are mostly unknown. This study describes perceptions of telehealth physical therapy among patients with chronic low back pain (LBP). Methods: This study surveyed participants in an ongoing multisite clinical trial of nonpharmacological LBP treatments. Participants were asked about their willingness to use telehealth for physical therapy and with other providers and completed the PROMIS-29. Results: Surveys were received from 102 participants (mean age = 48.5 [standard deviation; SD = 11.6]). Thirty-six (35.3%) expressed willingness to receive telehealth physical therapy, 22 were neutral (21.6%), and 44 were unwilling (43.1%). The percentage expressing willingness for telehealth physical therapy was lower than it was for family medicine (p < 0.001) or mental health (p < 0.001). Older (p = 0.049) and Black participants (p = 0.01) more likely expressed willingness to use telehealth for physical therapy. Conclusion: Education and familiarity may help patients view telehealth physical therapy more favorably. Clinical Trial Registration ( NCT03859713).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalTelemedicine Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • back pain
  • physical therapy
  • rehabilitation
  • telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications


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