TitleThe monitoring of Home Rehabilitation in Deaf Patient Care, pre and during COVID-19 emergency
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMeli, Annalisa, Eleonora Sica, Michela Dossi, Maria Filippa Attardo, and Eliana Cristofari
Secondary TitleAudiologia e Foniatria
Date Published07/2021
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2431-7008
KeywordsCochlear implant, COVID-19, deaf patients rehabilitation, Videoconference

In this study, we report our experience with telemedicine (TM) as a rehabilitation method in Hearing Aid users and cochlear implant recipients with video-conference (VDC), and how telemedicine has been incorporated into our protocol during the COVID-19 emergency. The Audiovestibology Unit of ASST- Settelaghi, Varese, introduced TM in 1995. This was the first time TM was made available in Italy. We introduced rehabilitative protocols for TM for both paediatric and adult deaf patients. In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 emergency, Italy was placed in lockdown. This meant that patients could not be treated through our regular on-site service. In response to this situation, we developed a new solution for rehabilitative therapy. The solution we developed utilized VDC to provide a smart-working approach. Our new solution was built on a VDC Patient Survey. The survey had thirty multiple-choice questions and could be compiled by adult patients or by the child’s parents.In the period from the 1st of March to the 20th of April, there were 404 rehabilitative sessions with VDC. 93,8% (374) of VDC sessions involved child patients. The remaining 6,2% (25) were adult patients. A total of 105 patients are followed via the VDC service, all of whom answered our initial VDC Patient Survey. During recent years, VDC has shown to be an efficient and key tool for auditory rehabilitation. The survey results support the vital role of VDC in our method - particularly in aiding our programing of future therapeutic plans.