Tele-Rehabilitation Systems for Empowering Parents and Their Children with Disabilities in India – A SWOT Analysis of the Context for Implementation

Shobana Devi Moorthy, Manigandan Chockalingam, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Persons with Disabilities (PWD) experience unmet needs related to health, rehabilitation, education, livelihood, social participation, and empowerment, particularly those living in a resource-poor context such as in the Indian context. The same applies to Children with Disabilities (CWD) as well. Given the pandemic restrictions imposed by the government of India, the provision of therapeutic rehabilitation services for PWDs and CWDs has come to a deadlock. Therefore, the PWDs and the parents of CWDs are substantially impacted by the double contextual burden of demand and access to rehabilitation services in India. However, there has been some light at the end of this dark tunnel provided by the existing telecommunication strategies. Both parents/caregivers and rehabilitation service providers started to find a way out of this situation on their own in India by optimizing their skills and resources for telerehabilitation. However, adopting this strategy requires evidence. Hence a critical Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the telerehabilitation strategy for empowering PWDs and CWDs in an Indian context is warranted and is of immense public health importance. A narrative review was conducted.

Telerehabilitation has several strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Telecommunication resources, Access to Rehabilitation services, Parent’s and consumer acceptance, Service efficiency, and data documentation could be considered as strengths; Skills, Competencies, Opportunity cost, Resource intensiveness, Evidence for Effectiveness, Comprehensibility could be considered as weaknesses; Therapy innovations, Evidence generation, System strengthening and Capacity Building could be considered as opportunities; Patient Safety, Ethical Integrity, Data security, and Professional practice insecurity could be considered as potential Threats to Telerehabilitation. Telerehabilitation has considerable scope for providing meaningful therapeutic experience and hastens the process of rehabilitation of CWDs in the current context. The SWOT and its implications must be kept in mind to ensure that CWDs receive the best quality continuum of care in the present context with utmost ethical and evidence-based considerations. This could bridge the gaps in access to rehabilitation services with sustainable solutions than patchy temporary solutions that are not sustainable.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalGlobal Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Issue number4
Early online date6 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


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