Evaluation of home-based naturopathic telehealth clinic: an innovative COVID-19 pandemic response

Tracelee Shew, Catherine Smith, Greg Connolly, Craig McLachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
The COVID-19 pandemic in Australia disrupted usual clinical training placements for naturopathic students. An innovative, remote Telehealth clinic was developed and implemented. This pilot study evaluates student and educator learning and teaching experiences in Telehealth. A survey assessed Likert and qualitative written responses to student and staff interaction with the Telehealth clinic.

Results
Nine student and 12 educator responses were included in the analysis. All students positively rated Telehealth training resources and the educator support provided. Students rated the Telehealth learning experience as ‘very good’ (78%) or ‘good’ (22%) with educator ratings of ‘very good’ (67%) or ‘good’ (33%). Thematic analysis of student written responses showed increased client diversity, collaboration, peer learning, increased feedback, and improved digital and technology skills. Virtual physical examination and infrastructure limitations were reported as Telehealth clinical practicum challenges.

Naturopathic Telehealth clinic practicum is a valuable alternative to in-person clinical practicums for Australian students. It enhances student collaboration and peer learning. Challenges of technology, infrastructure and incorporating Telehealth in curriculum may be barriers to implementation of Telehealth. However, Telehealth is an important clinical training option to prepare student practitioners for contemporary professional practice if in-person consultation is prohibitive, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number269
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume15
Issue number269
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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