The use of Telehealth for Early Scar follow-up: a family centred approach in this COVID world

Ms Jessica Shapland1, Dr Miller Kate, Mrs Mahoney Tamsin, Associate Professor Megan Simons, Ms Kipping Belinda, Ms Spencer Renae

1Queensland Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, Australia


The Pegg-Leditschke Children’s Burns Centre has long used telehealth consultation for the follow-up of regional and rural burn patients, so the concept and use of telehealth is not new to our Occupational Therapy (OT) Team. The research to support this approach including the time, pragmatic and financial impacts for families has long being acknowledged. However, the concept of Telehealth use with families local to Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH) in the early and ongoing stages of their scar rehabilitation phase was novel; hence we commenced a project examining the feasibility and safety of this approach. We were interested in challenging pre-conceived ideas of what and wouldn’t work when offering telehealth and wanted to provide our families with options that wouldn’t compromise on their child’s clinical care (from both a clinician and consumer perspective) and enable us to continue to meet the ever growing clinical demand.

Then came the “C” word (and NO it wasn’t cancer).

COVID-19 in early 2020 forced us to slightly pivot and rapidly commence this project to pilot telehealth where we would typically would have provided a face to face service to reduce the need to cancel appointments, minimise clinical risks and provide a safe and alternate model of scar intervention delivery.

This presentation will present the outcomes and feasibility of this project including clinician and consumer perspectives to highlight how and why we have embedded telehealth as a standard model of service delivery when providing early scar interventions into this ongoing Covid clinical world.


Jess graduated from Occupational Therapy in 2004 at the University of Queensland. She has been involved in Burn care across adult and paediatric burns centres for over 10 years and across regional/rural, metropolitan and international centres. She has a particular interest in the use of digital technology and the impact we can have on our families to reduce the burden of care across their family and community environment.

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